Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort
Spoilers/Warnings: One scene of explicit rape in the first chapter. A few possible spoilers from and up to season 5.
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine and I am not looking to profit from them.
Summary: A case goes badly wrong and Morgan and Reid are trapped at the mercy of two sexual sadists, Tom and Eric Faraday. Morgan/Reid slash. Focuses on their recovery and relationship after the trauma
The Wilderness event was held in the large square garden in the centre of the hotel building. The doors to the courtyard were all locked except one, so that guests could use the restroom, which was also guarded. Everywhere was brightly lit and the place was swarming with security guards. Many of the guests had objected, saying it was ridiculous to hold an outdoor activity session under the current circumstances, until Hotch pointed out that with everyone sticking together they would be much harder for a killer to reach, and that guests were welcome to take matters into their own hands and barricade themselves in their rooms, but that they could not all expect a personal security guard in each room. A few families decided to take that option, but most felt that there was safety in numbers.
They interviewed the guests while they ate round a large campfire eating hot dogs and s'mores. Morgan kept an eye on Prentiss and Young, who looked very cute fake-holding hands and getting ridiculously competitive about every activity.
Taking a break from interviews, Morgan and Reid went and toasted some marshmallows on the white dusty embers at the edge of the fire.
"Find anything interesting?" Morgan asked.
"Oh yeah. It seems like everybody has a theory." Reid smiled and yawned, rotating his stick to give his marshmallow an even honey-brown coat. "Most of them seem to think the manager is the unsub."
Morgan laughed. "You can see their point." He looked over at Orwell, who was 'mingling' with his guests. Meaning he was inadvertently making little children cry and women feel uncomfortable with his creepy smiles and winks.
"Nice job on your marshmallow there." Morgan complimented Reid.
"Thank you. I like them nice and brown." Reid smiled.
Morgan raised an eyebrow and smirked.
Reid's eyes widened, "I meant marshmallows!"
Morgan clapped him on the shoulder with pride. "Nothing wrong with liking a little brown sugar in your diet." He laughed. "If you can handle it that is."
Reid blushed and tried to deflect the direction the conversation was taking.
"Well at least I have some kind of system! Your technique seems to consist of shoving it in as far as it'll go until it catches fire." Morgan burst out laughing again and Reid covered his face with his hand as he realised what he'd just said.
"Yup, sounds about right." Morgan grinned.
"Your mind is a filthy, filthy place Derek Morgan." Reid shook his head.
"Oh you don't know the half of it pretty boy." He winked and pushed the three marshmallows he was toasting into his mouth.
(Just a bit of harmless banter between friends. That was all. Not flirting. Not at all.)
"Hey, can you pass me the marshmallows?" a voice came from behind Reid.
"Oh, sure." Reid smiled politely and held out the bag to a black haired boy of around fifteen or sixteen who was vaguely familiar to Morgan.
That's right…he was the one JJ thought was staring at Prentiss a little too much. He remembered, instantly on his guard.
The boy was skinny with black rectangular framed glasses, black eyeliner and a long side fringe jammed under a black beanie hat. He didn't look like the outdoorsy type at all, dressed in black skinny jeans with ripped knees, a pretentiously faded Guns 'n Roses T-shirt and a zip up Slayer hoodie. On both wrists he wore knitted red and black arm warmers and a ton of worn out charity and festival wristbands.
Morgan instantly disliked him. He was all in favour of rock music and alternative fashion, it made a refreshing change from pop culture, and he thought the emo style looked pretty cool on some people.
But there was something about some kids who used this fashion to get attention, which seriously got on his nerves. It was the way they stood as if they thought that the whole world thought them mysterious and dangerous, and the way they ostentatiously hid their wrists from sight in order to draw attention to the fact that they self-harmed, or to make people think they did. That was what disgusted him the most, as someone who understood all too well how much fear and guilt and self-loathing you had to have slowly rotting inside you in order for gouging into your own flesh to seem like a viable coping method. He felt like these kids were taking everything he went through and turning it into a parody, a twisted badge of pride. Mocking him.
(And he didn't thank Reid for passing him the marshmallows. Little shit.)
The kid looked at them curiously. "Hey…you're the FBI agents right?"
"Oh…yeah we're both agents. This is Agent Morgan, I'm Agent Reid."
"That's awesome. So do you, like carry guns and stuff?" The kid stabbed about five marshmallows onto his stick, grinning lasciviously.
"Uh…only when it's necessary." Reid replied, slightly unnerved. "What's your name?"
"Winston. Winston Cottonwick. I'm here on the gifted and talented enrichment scheme with my school." He said with a fake casual 'no big deal' kind of air, which was somehow even more sickening than outright gloating.
Reid smiled and nodded politely, though Morgan could sense that the irritation was mutual.
"So how come you clowns still haven't caught this son of a bitch yet?" Winston said innocently.
"Winston, that's enough!" came an exasperated voice from a man behind him. This man was probably in his early forties, but looked pretty good for his age in that tanned, still-in-shape, twinkly-eyed silver-fox (who under the right conditions, i.e. a lack of young talent and several too many glasses of wine, Morgan might actually go for.) kind of way. He was dressed casually in a plaid shirt, blue jeans and a thick black fleece, and he put a hand firmly on the kid's shoulder as if worried he was about to run off and do some damage.
"Hi there," he held out the other hand for Morgan to shake. "John Wotton. Sorry about this one, he has an unfortunate tendency to say things without thinking."
"Hey don't pretend you haven't been thinking the same thing!" Winston scowled. "Especially since it's so obvious who the killer is."
"This is not the time or the place to joke about this. Go back to your class." The teacher hissed at him.
"Wait a second, what did you mean by that?" Morgan asked Winston.
Winston smirked at his teacher, who glared daggers at him.
"See there's this local legend in the town about the monster who lives in the lake. Me and my brother saw it while we were camping in the woods last year, and it's not just us. Tons of people have seen it. That lake is cursed. They say that in some places the water goes right down into hell, and this creature swims up from the dark depths of the earth, and slithers out of the water every month and then a person goes missing, just like that. They never find anything left of 'em. Until now."
"It's just a story that started up a couple of years back." Wotton said, shaking his head and smiling at Morgan. "No one's ever been able to find anything in that lake, it's all nonsense. I'm sorry to have wasted your time with this agent."
"You said you saw this creature? What did it look like?" Morgan asked sceptically.
Winston's face lit up, "I only saw it for a minute. But it was like eight foot tall and covered in filthy black slime, and it shouted at us in this weird language. We ran away before it could kill us."
"We should really get back to the others now." Wotton said impatiently.
"Okay…well we'll keep that in mind. Thanks for your time." Reid said diplomatically.
"Man that kid gave me the creeps." Morgan said to Reid once they left.
"I thought the teacher was the creepy one." Reid said.
"Really?" Morgan was surprised, "I thought he seemed okay."
"I didn't like the way he grabbed that kid's shoulder. Did you see how hard he was gripping him? I'm sure that was hard enough to leave bruises. And the way he kept sucking up to us and trying to stop the boy from talking…"
"All teachers are like that, at least the older ones are. They're all about the discipline and children being seen and not heard."
"He definitely didn't want that boy being heard." Reid frowned.
Morgan shrugged and was about to reply when Young came over with a plate full of S'mores.
"Hey fellas. Having a good time?" he said, words slightly muffled by the food he was shovelling into his mouth.
"Yeah it's alright. You?" Morgan replied.
"Yeah, I could really get used to the outdoors lifestyle." He said. "I just learned how to sharpen a stick with a pen knife. I have no idea when that skill is supposed to be useful, but I suppose if anybody annoys me I now have a very sharp stick to stab them with." He waved his stick flamboyantly.
Morgan chuckled, and then there was a brief awkward pause.
"Um, I don't mean to kick you out of the conversation, but I'm under orders from Hotch to talk to Dr Reid inside." Young said to Morgan. "And I'd feel a lot more comfortable if you could convince Mrs Prentiss to put down that bow and arrow for me."
"Oh. Sure. I'll see you later then." He said, and left the smoky fireside to hang out with Hotch and Prentiss.
"We've got a private room this time." Young said to the young genius, who had gone very quiet. Reid nodded and followed him indoors, into a sort of meeting room with a large couch and some chairs and a low, polished oak table, with a large matching cabinet which held several books and a tray of bottles of liquor, as well as a really freaky china ornament of a fish, which had fallen onto its side. A security guard followed them to keep watch on the door.
Reid sat down on the edge of a chair, unfortunately facing the horrible fish ornament. Young sat diagonally opposite to him with his back to the cabinet, and started bouncing his ball off the table.
This is going to be so awkward. Reid thought, his stomach giving a queasy little flip.
"So. It's been a while since our last appointment." Young began.
Reid stared at the fish. It stared back at him through bulging eyes as if it had been gutted alive and was silently begging him to put it out of its misery. He felt a strange flood of empathy for it.
"...How badly did I screw up with you?" Young asked with a wry smile.
Reid didn't reply. After a while he gave a shrug and looked at the floor.
Young stopped bouncing the ball and put it down on the table to show he meant business.
"Okay. Bringing up something like that so publicly and bluntly was a shitty thing to do." Young said. "And I'm sorry. But if I'd done all that crap in the psychologist handbook with you, about how you can trust me and how everything we talk about stays confidential, and how you don't have to talk about things that make you uncomfortable, let's face it; you would have laughed in my face. Because you know that I'm just a person, I'm not a miracle worker, and you know that you won't trust me just because I tell you I'm trustworthy, you're perfectly capable of deciding that for yourself. And as for not talking about things that make you uncomfortable, well you and I both know that that's bullshit. Talking about stuff that makes you uncomfortable, that's what therapy is.And yeah it's hard and it's scary, but that's why you need me. If facing your issues wasn't scary you'd have done it yourself by now. What I can tell you is that I am very good at my job, I will always be as honest with you as I am legally allowed to be, and I am not going anywhere until you're better, no matter how long it takes."
He waited for Reid to reply. It was a long silence before he did.
"You'll be waiting a long time." He said, finally.
"Til death do us part then Twenty-eight." Young smiled.
"My name is Reid." Reid scowled.
"Finally, you corrected me." Young grinned. "Does that mean you're making a commitment to this?"
Reid looked up at the ceiling. "No." he said stubbornly.
Young laughed. "So shall we talk about how you're coping being back at work?"
"I'm coping fine."
There was another long silence. Young twiddled his thumbs and looked around the room, fidgeting and twitching like a hyperactive child.
"Hey, is there something going on between you and Morgan?" he asked suddenly with a smirk.
"Oh my God!" Reid snapped. "Are you going to come out with something inappropriate and personal every time I don't answer a question?"
"Well if you'd just answer them I wouldn't have to." Young pointed out.
"There's nothing going on with Morgan." Reid said firmly. "You're way off the mark there. He's straight and I'm…I'm straight too."
"Why the hesitation?"
"Well…" Reid looked uncomfortable. "I guess…it's more in theory than in practise. So I don't really know for sure. I assumed that I was."
"Oh." Young raised his eyebrows. "So until you and Morgan were forced to, you'd never actually…?"
Reid shook his head. He was blushing and already wishing he'd kept his mouth shut. He was half expecting some sarcastic jibe but for once thankfully Young wasn't a jerk about it.
"That must have made it even worse." He said.
"Yeah." Reid said shortly, his throat tightening up.
"You said…" Young said carefully, "You said you assumed you were straight. Past tense. Does that mean you have doubts?"
"I don't know. I don't want to know." Reid frowned and shook his head.
"Fair enough. It's a personal choice. Don't you think you might be missing out though?"
Reid shrugged tensely and tucked his knees up under himself.
"Hasn't there ever been anyone you've wanted to...you know, with?"
Reid folded his arms around himself.
"I'm not asking for names or anything." Young smiled. "Just a yes or no would be fine."
"I don't know." Reid said finally. "It never really crossed my mind."
"Why do you think that is?"
"Does it matter?"
"It might. Freud was widely regarded as being batshit insane but I think he was right about the fact that a lot of human weirdness is down to sex."
"You think I'm weird?" Reid asked, frowning.
"No I didn't mean that. But you're 28 and you haven't even thought about having sex. You can't deny the fact that you're a statistical anomaly as human beings go."
"It really doesn't seem fair." Reid picked at a loose thread on the arm of his chair. "I mean, in high school the teachers were all 'don't have sex it'll ruin your life' and now if you don't do it normal or with acceptable frequency, people think you're sick or weird."
"Do you think maybe you still feel like you're not allowed? Like it's something to be ashamed of?"
Reid shrugged, slightly unnerved by how quickly Young had got to the root of his problem.
Young sat forward in his chair, lacing his fingers.
"D'you want to know why I don't write down you say in these sessions like most shrinks do?"
"I had wondered. But then you didn't have an office either so I decided just to go with it." Reid said with a wry smile.
"I used to, when I had my first job." Young said. "But then one day the cops turned up on my doorstep and said they had to confiscate my notes as evidence, because one of my clients, an 18 year old girl had been raped, and there was something in those notes…my notes, which got the bastard off. It was because she'd confided in me about how she'd been tested for an STI." he slid his fingers into the hair above his ears.
"I tried to delay the cops. I really tried. I thought if I could get them to go away I could destroy the notes and say I'd lost them, so I said I'd left them at the office, but they'd already checked there. They came into my house, talking about rape and assault in front of my six year old nephew and my ten year old niece, and they ordered me to hand over my bag for them to check. They pulled those notes right out of my hands and threatened to charge me with perverting the course of justice. And once the notes got into the hands of the prosecution it was over. There was no point putting her through a court case. Once they had proof she was sexually active they would have torn her to shreds up there." he shook his head and rested his chin on his hand.
"She never spoke to me again. She dropped out of university because he was there and she was too ashamed to see him, too ashamed to face her friends because they all knew him. Shame is a very powerful, uniquely human emotion. It's one I see a lot in this job. And it is always the victim who suffers from it. The evil little fuckers who rape, they're absolutely shameless." Young said, his eyes dark and his voice twisted up in anger. He looked at the floor, his elbows resting on his knees. "Anyway. What I think, what I've always thought, is that to move on from this you have to work on letting go of all this shame you're carrying round with you."
Reid nodded, the corners of his mouth jerking in a weak attempt at a smile.
"Easier said than done, I hear you thinking." Young smiled wryly. "Well yes. True. I know you're not big on talking, so I'm going to take an educated guess about something and if I'm wrong then you can correct me, okay?"
"After what happened, you didn't tell anybody. To the point where you lied to the police and to all your closest friends to protect your secret. Now I'm not judging you for a second about that, you did what you had to do. But what it tells me is that you think there's a chance that they won't understand, or that they won't handle it so well and that scares the hell out of you, so you avoid the risk. What do you think it is that you're so scared they would think of you?"
For a long time Reid just stared at the floor. Young waited patiently, letting Reid set his own pace.
Finally Reid shook his head, and looked up before he spoke, his voice quiet and uncertain and tight,
"That...if I'd fought harder maybe we could have…" he stopped and looked away again.
"If you'd fought harder you'd be dead." Young said matter-of-factly.
"Maybe that would be better." Reid said tiredly, pressing the heels of his hands against his eyes.
"Is that something you think about a lot?" Young asked calmly.
For a moment Reid didn't reply.
"No. I don't mean it. I'm just tired. It's been a difficult case." He said finally, in a stiff, mechanical voice.
"Right." Young said lightly.
"Um, that reminds me, I wanted to ask you; as a psychiatrist, would you be able to prescribe sleeping pills to somebody with a history of addiction to narcotics?"
Young raised his eyebrows.
"Oh, no I don't mean to kill myself with. I mean for insomnia." Reid laughed.
"Uh, well…that depends, if you're talking the heavy duty benzodiazepines like Valium then no I probably wouldn't recommend it. Unless it was an emergency I mean."
"Oh." Reid said quietly.
"Are you having sleep problems?"
"Uh…a bit. I'll be okay." Reid said.
Just a few more nights to go anyway. He tried to cheer himself up.
"Okay then. I think we've been away long enough to keep Hotch happy. Are you ready to go or would you like a bit more time?"
"I'd like to go now." Reid said quickly.
Young laughed. "Why am I not surprised? Okay. But the day after we get back to Virginia I want to see you again, and if I have to use Hotch as leverage then I will."
Reid smiled weakly. They turned out the lights and walked back into the courtyard.
Morgan and Hotch were standing next to the wood chopping activity area, which consisted of five tree stumps with piles of logs beside them. Morgan looked up and waved them over.
Just as Reid headed in their direction a very tall guy in a baseball cap brushed past him from behind and said, "Hey, you dropped this." And handed Reid his phone.
"Oh, thanks." Reid looked around but the guy had gone.
I hadn't even realised I'd dropped it. He thought, confused, but before he could think about it anymore Morgan came up to him.
"Check her out." Morgan said and gestured over to where Prentiss was thrashing all the instructors in an archery competition.
Young wolf whistled at her and shouted "MAKE THEM CRY HONEY!"
She looked round and gave him a smile which to the oblivious onlooker would pass for affection, but which actually meant Young was all kinds of screwed.
"If you imagine the way a female spider looks at a male right after he's impregnated her and she's about to eat him. That's the look she's giving you." Reid remarked helpfully.
"Somehow that just makes her hotter." Young said wistfully.
"Now now tiger." Morgan laughed. "We'd better release some of that one-sided sexual tension into something more constructive."
He handed Young and Reid two axes and took the third for himself. "Time for us to prove we are truly masters of the wilderness."
"Oh man I've always wanted to try this!" Young perked up.
He positioned a log on a stump, checked for any rogue small children dashing underfoot, and swung the axe down with a dramatic grunt. He missed. His axe caught the edge of the log and sent it skidding sideways, so the unfortunate couple standing nearby had to dodge.
Once everybody had proceeded to laugh at him, Reid and Morgan tried.
"This is surprisingly therapeutic." Reid said, after the third.
"Oh wow you've cut your log way straighter than mine." Morgan said.
"Thanks, I guess maybe my wood is more solid."
Young burst out laughing. "Seriously you guys are just doing this on purpose now."
Morgan shoved him playfully.
Young tried chopping his log again and a few more times until he'd got the hang of it.
"I HAVE NEVER FELT SO MANLY IN MY LIFE." He yelled, slamming his axe down.
"Hey, where'd the fifth axe go?" Reid asked as he and Morgan sat down on one of the big log benches.
"What?" Morgan asked.
"There are five stumps. You me and Young had an axe, and there was one left in the shed. That only makes four."
Morgan looked at him. "Maybe there were only four."
Reid nodded uneasily but quickly forgot. Hotch and Rossi came over with drinks and they all actually started to have a bit of fun for a while.
And then a woman screamed.
Everybody fell silent. Everyone looked around trying to see who was screaming.
"Up there!" Someone yelled. "Oh my god!"
Morgan looked up and saw something he would never be able to erase from his mind. Four corpses, one male late thirties maybe, a little boy and girl, and a baby, all hung from the neck with rope, side by side from oldest to youngest, swinging from the railings of their balcony. The mother was at the door, screaming over and over, trying to pull her children and her husband up onto the balcony but it was too late. They were all soaked in blood and their heads were split open. The little boy was so badly mutilated that his arm was severed and hanging by a thread of connecting tissue.
Reid was first to react. He was closest to the door and he ran for it, gun in hand. Hotch and Morgan followed while Rossi calmed everybody down and organised the cops and the medics.
They ran up the stairs to the third floor and stuck close to the walls.
"Morgan slow down! He could be waiting to ambush us!" Hotch said.
"We don't have time to be careful! He might still be in there with the mother!" Morgan snapped and started running. He got to the woman's apartment and hammered on the door.
"Ma'am! Please open the door, this is the FBI! Can you hear me?"
A few seconds later the door opened and the poor devastated woman fell into his arms, still screaming and crying like she was being tortured. The security guard assigned to them was lying on the floor in a pool of blood, face down. Morgan stood there and held her while Reid and Hotch checked the apartment.
"He's not here."
"Did you see where he went?" Morgan asked her, but she didn't seem to hear him.
Reid went outside ready to direct the medics to the room when they arrived. He leaned against the patterned wallpaper and closed his eyes. Then he slipped his hand into his pocket and took out his phone. He stared at it, feeling like there was something obvious he was missing.
He suddenly heard running footsteps and saw a flash of black in the corner of his eye. He looked up and strained his ears. The same feeling of paralysing fear he felt in his nightmare the night before crept into his muscles and suddenly he was too afraid to even breathe. He thought about the kid's story about the lake monster, and his dream of being out on the lake.
Then he reminded himself that this was not a monster, it was just a very twisted and evil human, and he was going to make that human pay for hurting that family.
He started running after the noise, round the corner just in time to see a figure in a black hooded robe. It turned to look at him and he saw that it had a yellow mask over its eyes. It ran through a door and into the stairwell.
Reid followed it up the stairs and into another corridor and round another corner, and stopped dead when he saw the puddles of green and black slime on the floor and the stairs and sprayed on the walls. At the end of the corridor there was a hideous figure, white and bloated like an underwater corpse, its flesh rotting and sliding off onto the floor, leaving raw, weeping patches of tissue.
It looked straight at Reid and he froze. It started gliding towards him and he fired his gun four times, but the bullets just stuck to the outside of its jellified skin and were absorbed. He turned round and stumbled away, trying to run but barely able to move, unable to even call out. He knew the thing was getting closer but he couldn't bring himself to turn round to look, and then he felt the slime crawl up his legs and seep right into his flesh, turning it rotten so his skin started to come away from his bones.
He screamed for Morgan and kept on screaming....
Link to chapter 14: http://colourmebipolar.livejournal.c
Link to chapter 16: