A Criminal Mind Fan fiction. Derek Morgan and all other original characters are owned by CBS and the Producers of Criminal Minds! I own NOTHING! (All new characters are all mine, however---let's not get it twisted!)
This is simply the overactive imagination of a CM Super Fan!!! Enjoy!!!
Derek slowly slid out of bed hoping not to wake
Penelope. If she knew he was awake she’d worry. He didn’t want her worrying
about him; she’d done enough of that over the past several months. He knew she
had been watching him all day since he’d been back wondering if he was really
okay. Clooney’s strange behavior didn’t help matters either. He didn’t know
what was going on with him; it wasn’t like Derek hadn’t been away before. He
was fine now. Serenity Streams had made him better, whole again and he was
happy and ready to get back to work. He didn’t want Penelope or anyone else
worrying about him any more. Dr. Sykes was right if they worked together he would
be good as new.
Derek’s head was splitting. He couldn’t get rid of
the headache and he’d already taken the recommended amount of aspirin. As he
rubbed his temples he turned and watched Penelope sleeping her back to him. He
didn’t deserve her, he thought. No he didn’t deserve her at all. His mission
was to convince her that he was fine now, like his old self…if only the
headaches would go away.
just kept going, dark and narrow and quiet. All he could hear was the sound of
his boots on the linoleum tile.Where
someone please turn on the lights? Hello? Please! NO! Let me go! Untie my
hands! I need to go home!”
him! Shoot him like I told you and you can go home! We’ll stop the headaches if
you shoot him!”
drugs, I can’t think when…NO!!!”
the trigger and we will stop the pain…do as you’re told and we won’t hurt her!”
down and noticed the gun in his hand…why was he caring a gun?
My head! Please make the pain stop! Where am I?”
last door on the right, just shoot him like I told you and we will let you go
home to her”
Don’t hurt her!”
“Derek! Derek! Baby, wake up! You’re okay, it’s
just a nightmare!”
Derek jerked and his eyes sprung open, wide-eyed
looking straight into the eyes of Penelope who had wrapped her arms around him
to prove to him that everything was okay.
“Pen…I’m sorry, Baby Girl.” He said collapsing back
onto his pillow.
Beads of sweat sat on his forehead and his heart
was racing. She stared and held him tighter rocking until he pulled away from
her and sat up with his back against the headboard.
“You scared the hell out of me, Derek. Are you
“Wow. It seemed so real…I thought I was…” He turned
and saw the worry in her eyes.
“I thought they were supposed to fix the
“Nothing can fix the nightmares, Baby. I’m supposed
to be able to deal with them which is what I was doing before…” He stopped
“I’m fine…never better. Dr. Sykes, he fixed me. I’m
fine.” He said as if his response had been scripted.
Penelope watched as his facial expression went from
fear to stone-cold calm in a matter of seconds. This time she wasn’t so willing
to brush it off. Derek was not fine and nothing had been fixed. An uneasy
feeling rushed over her as she pulled him back down and wrapped him tightly in
happened to you in that place, Derek?” She thought silently to herself.
Penelope headed toward the kitchen taking special
care in not waking Derek. As she started the coffee pot she couldn’t shake the
nightmare. He’d had them before and they had increased since Ellie’s death but
this one was different. The others were all variations of the same dream but
this one was brand new. How could he go to a place that was supposed to help
him and come back with a new more terrifying dream, she thought. She was at a
loss and wanted so badly to be able to explain it away but her gut wouldn’t
allow her to.
As she began cracking eggs for breakfast she felt
his arms snake around her waist gently pulling her against his body. She smiled
remembering how much she missed mornings like this. She relaxed against his
bare chest and closed her eyes wishing that they could just have some peace; no
more heartache, no more nightmares, just peace to live a normal life, well as
normal as can be with their jobs, but just peace to be able to love each other
His voice broke her thoughts as he turned her to
face him cupping her face gently in his hands.
“Good morning, Baby Girl.” He kissed her lightly on
“Good morning, my Prince.” She responded.
“What time are you going in today?” He asked taking
a seat at the table.
“I told Hotch I’d be in around ten unless we got a
“I’m ready to get back to work. I don’t understand
why I have to wait until Monday.”
“Hey just enjoy it. Besides, you know Strauss,
she’s going to want to talk to you before she signs off on your return.”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
Dr. Emmanuel Sykes sat comfortably in his oversized
tufted leather chair. His early morning routine of hot tea and toast was
interrupted by the shrill ring of his office phone.
“Good morning Doctor, Erin Strauss here. I hope I
didn’t disturb you.”
“No not at all. How are you? I assume you’re
calling about Agent Morgan.”
“I’m fine and yes, I am calling about Agent
“Well of course you know that what we discuss here
“Yes, of course…”
“But I can tell you that Agent Morgan has made
great progress during his stay with us.”
“Good, good. Is it safe to assume he is ready to
return to work?”
“Most definitely. I have no doubt that your Agent
Morgan is more than ready to return to work.”
“Thank you Dr. Sykes. I’ll let you get back to
Sykes grinned as he hung up the phone. “If you only knew.” He thought to himself.
Emmanuel Sykes was a little man with big man
dreams. He’d struggled all of his life with feeling invisible among his family;
with a father who’d conquered the world of business aided by a marriage of
convenience to a wealthy socialite from one of Virginia’s oldest and richest
families.Emmanuel was nothing more than
an inconvenience to his father who always seemed impatient with such a
sensitive child and his mother always looked at him with disappointment in her
eyes. Sykes thought becoming a doctor would magically win his parents approval
but not so. Their emotions were withheld doled out only in rare tiny pieces.
The human mind was fascinating to him and he
believed within the fragile mind laid the power to control the hearts and very
souls of man. Somehow if he could unlock the secret then, maybe he’d find a way
to make his parents love him.
A knock interrupted Dr. Sykes’ thoughts as Dr.
Magee entered his office. She always seemed to make him smile but like everyone
else in his life he was invisible to her.
“You’re in early.” She sounded unusually cheerful.
“I wanted to get caught up on some things. Our
clients are going to want an update in a few days.”
“Well good. I know you’ll be ready.”
“Indeed. In fact, I have a little test scheduled
for this evening.”
“Test? What sort of test?”
“This evening around midnight Agent Morgan will
have an urge to go on a late night run.”
“How strange but you’re the doctor.”
“Yes I am and before it’s all over everyone will
know who I am.”
She looked at him strangely as he seemed to drift
into his own little world.
Headquarters – Conference Room Afternoon
The team minus Morgan was seated around the
conference table as Hotch briefed them on a request from the local police department.
Each member had a file in front of them and thumbed through it as Hotch filled
“Over the past three weeks the D.C. Police have
seen a spike in suicides. Detective James has asked for our help.” Hotch began.
“Since when did we start working suicides, Hotch?”
The pictures of three men hung side by side on the
“These three had some similarities that caught
Detective James’ attention.”
“Well, if it really is murder made to look like
suicide then the UNSUB crossed racial lines. Our first victim is
African-American, the second Hispanic and the third Asian.” Reid pointed out.
“Do we have any other information on these men?” JJ
“Not much. Since they were first ruled as suicides
the cases were closed.” Garcia added.
“Are we sure we have enough to start a homicide
investigation?” JJ wondered.
“We’ll need to talk to the families. I’d hate to
upset them when they’re already grieving.” Alex added.
Police Department – Late Afternoon
The team had arrived about an hour later and was
greeted by Detective Ernie James. He was glad that the BAU had agreed to look
into these cases. No one would even listen or consider that three healthy men
who had never shown signs of suicide would suddenly take their own lives in
the exact same way leaving no suicide note. He was in hot water with his
captain but because of his stellar record, he was being allowed to pursue it.
Anxiously, Detective James rushed toward Hotch
extending his hand and nodding acknowledgment to the rest of the team.
“Thank you for coming. I’ve got a place set up for
you next to my office.”
“Glad we could help although I’m not sure what we
can do. It looks pretty cut and dry.” Hotch replied.
“I hear you. That’s what my captain keeps telling
me. He’s giving me two days to settle this and then he’s closing the case for
“Well let’s get started.”
Hotch and the team headed to the area that was set
up for them. Like their conference room in Quantico, the pictures of three men
hung on a white board with their names and ages hand written on labels below
each picture. The men were of different racial groups, which for a serial case
was rare. That alone would have prevented anyone from suspecting any connection between the three deaths. As the team settled in and began reviewing
the case files, Garcia called and Hotch placed her on speaker for everyone to
“What do you have, Garcia?” Hotch asked.
“Our victims are Abner Stone, 35, a sergeant in the
Marine Corps. He recently returned from his third tour of Afghanistan. The second
victim Sergio Mendoza, 45, was a first responder during 911 and recently
retired from the New York Fire Department and relocated to DC. Our last victim
Victor Chen, 37 was a DC Police officer whose family was recently killed by a
gang member in retaliation for his brother being killed by Chen during a
“Yes. In fact, Chen was my partner.” James waited
for the fallout.
Rossi shot an angry glance at Hotch then at
“Is that why you asked us hear? To prove your
partner didn’t kill himself?” Rossi fumed.
“I knew if I told you, you wouldn’t come. But
listen, my partner did not kill himself! He would never do that! When I saw the
similarities in the other two cases I knew in my gut something was up.”
“The similarities are weak at best Detective.”
Hotch added trying to remain calm at being manipulated into getting involved.
“We don’t handle suicides but out of professional
courtesy we’ll take a look.” Hotch paused and looked at Rossi and then the rest
of his team.
“And Detective…if there is anything else you
haven’t told us, you need to tell us now.”
The Detective nervously looked at Hotch with an
apologetic and grateful look in his eyes.
“No. There’s nothing else. Thank you Agent
“We need to interview their families to see what
ties these men together.” Hotch added.
“I’ve already sent their addresses to your
“Thanks Garcia.” JJ chimed in.
“It’s getting late. In the morning, Rossi, you and
Alex go and talk to Abner Stone’s family, JJ and Reid you have the Mendoza
family and Detective James and I will go see the Chen family.” Hotch ordered.
The team headed out of the precinct and back to
Quantico. Garcia powered down her babies and headed to Derek’s.
Derek Morgan – Evening
Derek was busy putting the final touches on dinner.
He wanted to surprise Penelope when she arrived. The team had spent the day on
a questionable case in DC and even though he was curious he was determined not
to mention it. He wanted the two of them to have a relaxing evening,
stress-free and as close to normal as possible.
Just as he removed the lasagna from the oven he
could hear the door open and her keys jingle as she dropped them onto the table
near the door. He smiled to himself counting the seconds when she would round
the corner and enter the kitchen.
“Well, well what is my handsome god up to?” She met
his smile with her own.
He met her as she stepped across the threshold and
took her in his arms planting a deep sensuous kiss on her lips as if it were a
promise of things to come.
“I thought I’d cook tonight; my way of saying thank
you.” He smiled looking deep into her eyes still holding her tightly.
“Thank you for what?” She was confused.
“For being here with me and everything else that would
take all night and into the morning to list.” He said releasing her and
returning to the stove.
Penelope plopped down at the table and exhaled. She
watched him as he dished the salad into two small bowls and carried them over
to the table. She was encouraged to see him so relaxed, happy and he hadn’t
mentioned work or their case. This definitely was not like Derek at all. He
lived and breathed work, fighting crime and being an active part of the BAU.
She continued to watch as he placed the garlic bread and lasagna on the plates
and brought them to the table. Was this real? She wondered. Time would tell.
“You never cease to amaze me, Mr. Morgan.”
She smiled and took a small bite of her food. He
watched her waiting to get her approval.
“Well?” He asked.
“It’s delicious! I’m impressed.”
“Thank you. Anything for my Princess!”
Derek rubbed his temples, annoyed by a nagging
headache, and then took a bite of his food. He was satisfied that it indeed
tasted pretty good. They sat and talked enjoying each other’s company and each
secretly praying that this would be the beginning of better days.
It was midnight and Derek and Penelope had been
sound asleep for at least an hour when suddenly Derek awoke. He had a sudden
urge to go for a run. His sudden stirring jarred Penelope awake and she turned
in time to see him dressing in his running clothes.
“Derek?” She looked at him puzzled.
“Go back to sleep, Baby. I’m just going on a run.”
He kept dressing.
“At midnight?” She glanced at the clock on the
“I’ll be back. Go back to sleep.”
“Derek. What’s wrong? Since when did you start
running at midnight?”
“Penelope, please it’s okay. I just need to go for
“Why now, Derek?”
“I just do. Please.”
She watched as he tied his shoes and grabbed his
sweatshirt and keys. As an afterthought he approached the bed and leaned down
and planted a kiss on the top of her head. Speechless and confused she watched
him head out the door.
How was she supposed to go back to sleep, she
thought to herself. What was she supposed to say when he returned and what
could he possibly say to make this odd behavior seem normal?
Derek stepped out into the cool night air and
inhaled the chilled breeze into his lungs. He wasn’t sure why he was out this
late at night but he ran towards the park into the night alone.
As Derek came to the end of his third lap around
the park he saw a dark figure ahead of him and slowed down. As he got closer he
recognized the small man as he stepped under the amber glow of the park’s lamp
“Dr. Sykes? What are you doing here?”
“Just checking up on my favorite patient.”
Sykes smiled as he looked into Derek’s confused eyes.
He slowly approached Derek who stood silently watching the man.
“You are my favorite patient aren’t you Derek?”
Derek stood still, quiet and submissive as if
waiting for permission to move or speak; this was not like Derek Morgan, the
fearless profiler that would jump to action and kick ass at the drop of a hat.
Sykes began to walk circles around Derek as if he were examining a prized
thoroughbred. Still Derek stood trance-like.
“I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself, Derek.
You’ve passed a most crucial test.” Sykes stopped in front of Derek.
“Yes.” He answered sounding as if his mind was no
longer under his control.
“You do want to save her life, don’t you, Derek?”
“Don’t hurt her, please.”
“Good. That’s good. All you have to do is pull the
trigger just like I told you. Then you can go home to her, okay Derek?”
Penelope pulled the covers over her body and closed
her eyes. The familiar sound of his keys turning in the lock made her heart
speed up relieved that he was home safe yet nervous as to what his state of
mind would be.
Quietly he entered the house and headed to the
bedroom. He approached the bed and looked down on her lying quietly. He assumed
she had fallen back to sleep shortly after he’d left.
She heard the shower and then shortly saw steam
escaping under the door. Her nerves were going crazy. Derek was trying so hard
to convince her that he was alright but she knew in her spirit that he wasn’t
alright, not even close. Clooney had sensed it the moment his owner had come
through the door. With all that he had gone through especially this year he had
managed to keep his head above water. The recent cracks that she had seen in
him was nothing compared to what was going on now with him. She really couldn’t
put words to it and if she had to explain it out loud to someone they would
think that she needed a short stay in Serenity Streams. She knew Derek, better
than anyone and she knew when he was struggling, or hiding something or even
trying to protect her from something. This person that had returned from
Serenity Streams was not the man she knew and loved and what scared her the
most was that she was certain that even he did not realize that he was not the
The hot water beat down relentlessly upon his body.
His head rested on the wall, eyes closed as he focused on the throbbing pain
pounding just behind his eyes. He had to get rid of the pain it was driving him
mad. He found it hard to sleep and hoped desperately that the shower would help
him to rest.
Derek was still asleep when Penelope got up and
headed to the kitchen to start the coffee pot going. She was still bothered and
she welcomed a day at work. She even considered staying at her own apartment
tonight to give Derek his space back.
Movie nights always ended with one or the other
staying over but it had never progressed past cuddling. Their admissions of
their true feelings seemed to have butt heads with another crisis so they were
stuck again fighting another problem that was in the way of them addressing the
“now what” of their status as a couple. She ached to be near him in a real way
not just as a best friend but in her new place in his life. She thought his
return from Serenity Streams would be that new beginning but it was as if he
didn’t even remember his words to her. She almost felt sick to her stomach at
the thought that what he had admitted would become just empty words. What she
did know was that she wasn’t about to let their future go up in a puff of
smoke. Whatever happened to him while he was away was not going to take him
away from her. She vowed to get answers if it was the last thing she did in
Headquarters Erin Strauss’ Office – Morning
Penelope Garcia sat nervously twirling her fingers
as Erin Strauss got comfortable behind her desk. She had never had a reason to
be in this office before but she had heard that is was expensively decorated
and it was, quite impressive.
“Thank you for seeing me this morning, Ma’am.”
Penelope exhaled to release the nerves.
“Of course. I was somewhat surprised to get your
call.” Strauss studied her intensely. “You said you wanted to talk about Agent
“Ah…yes.” She suddenly began to think that this
wasn’t such a good idea. No one knew about her and Morgan being a couple; they
had decided not to reveal that yet, especially to Strauss who no doubt would give
them problems about it.
“Derek…I mean Agent Morgan and I are very good
friends…best friends…and…I know that the two of you have had your…I mean every
since he’s come back from Serenity Streams he’s been…different…”
“Different how? Is he having problems? Dr. Sykes
assured me that he was fine…better than fine in fact.”
“No, no…he’s fine…he’s perfect…that’s just it. He’s
almost too perfect…I mean not that he’s not perfect…but…”
“You know better than any of us that he’s been
through a lot this year. More than anyone I know could possibly deal with, give
him time. Dr. Sykes has given him the tools to better deal with all the things
he’s been carrying around.”
Penelope knew that this conversation was a waste of
time. Just as she had feared, no one would understand that Derek was not
fine—not by a long shot.
“He’s been having crazy headaches…he doesn’t think
I know about them and last night at midnight he went on a run through the
“Oh really and you would know that because…?”
Strauss raised her eyebrow.
“Oh...uh…we had…um…movie night at his house and I
fell asleep…on the couch…and…”
“Look, Miss Garcia, I’m sure he’s fine. As soon as
he’s back in the field everything will be back to normal.”
Strauss smiled and stood to signal that the meeting
was over. Penelope quickly rose to her feet embarrassed for even thinking that
Strauss would or could help.
“Thank you for your time, Ma’am.”
Penelope made a hasty retreat to her office and
closed the door feeling helpless and humiliated.
Headquarters – Afternoon
Penelope welcomed the distraction of the
afternoon’s briefing. The families of the three suicide victims had been
interviewed and now the team was coming together to share information.
“Rossi and I interviewed Abner Stone’s family.
According to his mother, since he’s been back from his third tour of
Afghanistan he’s been having some emotional problems, PTSD.” Alex began.
“His mother said that he’s always been very
emotionally stable, focused and dedicated to his job. He went into the military
straight out of high school.” Rossi added.
“Yes, and she said until these last few months, he’s
never had any problems; nothing that would even hint at suicide. She said he
seemed…conflicted…like he was having some sort of internal battle.” Alex
“His mother started getting nervous when he’d
suddenly do something out of character like he’d get up in the middle of the
night and go swimming or he’d go hiking at midnight…”
Penelope nearly jumped out of her skin, knocking
over her mug and spilling coffee onto her dress and the file lying in front of
her. The team, startled, looked up into her panicked, wide-eyed face.
“Garcia! Are you alright?” JJ asked.
Penelope quickly began to nervously clean up her
“Oh! I’m sorry, sorry.”
“Garcia? Do you need a break or something?” Hotch
“No, no, I’m fine….I’ll get this, please continue.”
Trying not to be distracted by their Technical
Analyst fumbling and bumbling as she cleaned up her mess the team
“Our interview with the Mendoza family sounds like
that. Sudden odd excursions out of the house, headaches…” Reid began before he
Those words froze Garcia in her tracks.
“Headaches? Did you say headaches?”
“Did any of our victims spend any time in a care
facility or specialized therapy group?”
“Yeah Mrs. Chen said her son was ordered to go by
his commanding officer when he started to have some anger issues.” Added
All of the victims had recently been through
counseling; a new progressive therapy program.
Penelope quickly began typing on her laptop as the
others watched her in confused silence.
“Oh my God! I knew it!” She muttered.
She kept typing, furiously unaware that the team
was worried that she had finally flipped out.
“Garcia? Talk to us. What’s going on?” Hotch said.
“Listen to this! Each of our victims spent a week
or more at Serenity Streams under the care of its founder and director Dr.
“What do we know about this Sykes person?” Rossi
Garcia began typing again and after a few seconds
stopped. Her mouth dropped open as she slowly shook her head in disbelief.
“Garcia? What?” JJ nervously asked.
Garcia began reading, not wanting to believe or
accept what was on the screen.
“Dr. Emmanuel Sykes is known for his controversial
and unorthodox treatment of mental illness. He’s been the subject of a number
of lawsuits and investigations and has even had his license suspended at least
three times after the mysterious deaths of several of his patients.”
“Why is he still practicing? Reid asked
“Because he has found a way to label what he does
as some new wave aversion slash lifestyle alternative and he doesn’t need a
license!” Garcia was now furious.
“Wait…Serenity Streams that’s where Strauss went!”
He knew he wasn’t supposed to know that. No one was
supposed to know that except a select few. As Rossi put two and two together,
Garcia thought of Morgan.
“It’s also where she sent Morgan…Oh my god!”
Rossi quickly ran to the door, opened it and
stepped into the hallway.
Agent Derek Morgan was behind the wheel of his
truck headed no- where in particular. His mind was cluttered with so many
thoughts that made no sense at all. He
had done everything that Strauss had ordered him to do and felt worse than he
did before Serenity Streams. He didn’t feel like himself, his head still felt
like a jackhammer had been running amok nonstop. It was hard explaining or
controlling his actions. He needed answers and he needed them now. Every time
he tried to force his mind back to the events of last week all he saw was
darkness and when he fell asleep visions of death and threats of death and
commands to kill haunted him. The only way to find out what really happened,
why he felt completely out of control was to go back to where it all began.
Penelope and the team focused intently on the
laptop screen, reading the truth about Dr. Emmanuel Sykes. Erin Strauss had
joined them as Penelope filled them all in on Derek’s odd behavior; the
robotic, trance-like responses whenever he was asked how he was feeling, the
struggle he had trying to appear fine and normal and his bizarre late night run
through the park. She told him about the headaches and the fact that Clooney
refused to go near him.
“There are scientific findings that point to the
validity of a real unexplainable bond between man and dog, thus the phrase,
‘man’s best friend’”. Reid offered.
“Wait, are we talking brainwashing here? Sounds
like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.” Rossi added.
“Strauss, did you notice anything out of the
ordinary when you stayed there?” Hotch asked.
“No. Nothing. We had the normal group sessions, the
12-Steps…nothing out of the ordinary.”
“With all due respect, but she doesn’t fit the
profile of any of our victims.” JJ surmised.
“You’re right JJ.” Hotch admitted. “All of our
victims are men. They were athletic, dedicated men in service-type jobs,
focused and driven heroes.”
“Exactly, these men where in high stress, high
stakes jobs They were extremely dedicated to protecting and saving others.”
Reid looked at Garcia.
“Then why did they all kill themselves?” Alex
wondered out loud.
“Because they were all heroes, duty-bound. Whatever
Sykes was ordering them to do went against who they were at their core. They
were lifesavers, heroes, not killers. Sykes could not play on any socio-pathic
or deviant behavior because it was not who they were.” Reid surmised.
“So, they killed themselves rather than kill
“Exactly. Their minds couldn’t process the command
that was opposite to who they were so suicide was the only way out.”
“He-he…should be home. He said he was working on
his basement today.”
“Why would Sykes be brainwashing these men?”
“…And why these specific men with these very
specific characteristics?” JJ added.
“Assassins!” Rossi blurted out.
“Assassins?” Strauss looked disbelieving at Rossi.
“The top twelve world leaders are in town today for
the signing of an unprecedented peace agreement. There are a lot of extremist
factions who would love to stop that from happening.” Rossi continued.
“You’re right Rossi. If this agreement is signed it
would expose many of the terrorist cells and make it nearly impossible to exist
as they do now.” Reid added.
“JJ call Homeland Security. Garcia call Morgan. If
he’s the one Sykes has programmed to disrupt that meeting then we need to get
to him before he completes his mission.”
Derek sat outside the wrought iron gates of
Serenity Streams. He wasn’t sure how he found his way there but he had. He
needed answers and he wasn’t leaving until he found them.
His thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of his
cell phone; he didn’t have to look at the display to know it was Garcia.
“Hey Baby Girl.”
“Where are you?” She tried to keep her voice from
“I need answers…”
“Derek, listen to me. You need to come to the BAU.”
“Not until I find out what happened to me.”
“Baby, please, let Hotch and the team handle this.”
The panic was evident now in her voice.
There was no response from Derek. Unbeknownst to
her, Derek had laid the phone on the seat next to him and left the truck to
look for a way onto the grounds.
“Derek? Derek! Answer me, please!”
Dr. Emmanuel Sykes/Serenity Streams
The confident doctor sat behind his desk on the
phone with an important client. He was boasting about his readiness for the
upcoming mission and promising success that would earn him a large payoff afterwards.
Derek was surprised at how easy it was to get onto
the property unnoticed. He chocked it up to Sykes’ ego and over confidence
about not getting caught. Still, there were no patients walking around the
grounds just extreme quiet. Just as he reached the old plantation style main
building one of the attendants appeared near the entrance. As he stepped outside and descended the steps and
headed toward the opposite side Derek ducked down behind a clump of shrubbery
until it was safe to proceed inside.
As he made it down the dark hallway he heard voices
coming from a large office to the right. It was Sykes, the man who had turned
his life upside down.
“Don’t worry Sir! I’ve got everything ready. That
meeting will never take place. My man is in position.”
There was a pause as the other side of the
conversation was inaudible to Morgan. He so wanted to burst in and force the
scrawny doctor to tell him the truth and make him undo what he had done to his
“I understand. He’s passed all of my preliminary
tests with flying colors. (pause) I’ve made sure that he won’t be able to tell
anyone. (pause) I’ll call you when it’s done. (pause) What happens afterwards?
Sykes hung up the phone and suddenly realized that
he was not alone in the room.
“Agent Morgan! What are you doing here?” Sykes was
“What did you do to me?” Morgan began to slowly
approach the man.
“What are you talking about?”
“The headaches…the nightmares…What?”
Sykes stood and looked piercingly into Morgan’s
eyes. A sharp pain hit Morgan with a fierceness that caused him to stagger. He
closed his eyes trying to shake off the pain and regain control.
“What did I tell you to do, Derek? You do want to
save her don’t you?”
“Stop! Stop the pain!” Morgan felt his control
“You have to finish the job. Do what I told you to
do! Pull the trigger! Then I’ll let you go home to her!”
Just as Sykes thought he had regained control of
his wayward patient, Morgan lunged forward and grabbed him around the neck and
slammed him across the desk sending papers, and everything else flying across
“Stop the pain!” Morgan increased the pressure
around Sykes’ neck.
Sykes eyes bugged out as he struggled to breathe
and find a way to escape this mad man. Morgan didn’t care if this despicable
creature stopped breathing. He continued to press harder feeling his bones and
muscles giving under his grip. The little man was no match for him. All he
could see was red.
Hotch, Rossi and Detective James burst through the
door. Reid, JJ and Alex had been sent to other parts of the building. Morgan
continued to strangle Sykes, the three other men ran to pull him off and
finally after several minutes of struggling they managed to free Sykes from
Morgan’s death grip.
Rossi and Hotch wrapped Morgan in a bear grip as he
continued to struggle. James pulled Sykes up from the floor not caring that he
was coughing and gasping for air and cuffed his hands behind his back.
Finally Morgan began to settle down in his
teammates grip just as the rest of the team joined them in the office. James
leads Sykes out of the room and out of the building as he screamed and ranted.
“This is not the end! Do you hear me! This is not
Morgan slowly got to his feet as his team
surrounded him with looks of concern and love. They admired him for who he was
and what he meant to their team and to the family that they had created over
the last nine years.
He wanted to see Penelope. He knew she would be
worried about him wondering if he had snapped and killed Sykes or if he’d been
killed. He couldn’t stand the looks of concern in the faces of his friends
but he understood nonetheless. All he wanted to do was go home and forget what
he still couldn’t remember; a week of darkness, pain and lost time. He’d been
fighting it seemed to get out of a black hole to save her, to keep Sykes and
his men from hurting her and now it was hopefully over and he needed to see
her, to hold her tightly in his arms.
Headquarters- Gym – Saturday morning
Derek had arrived about and hour ago. The quiet of
the room helped him to focus. He’d missed his early morning workouts and he had
a week to catch up on.
He had been wailing away on the heavy bag when
Strauss walked in.
“I’ve been in this room more in the last two weeks
than I have in all my twenty years with the bureau.”
Strauss dressed in her business attire approached
him as he slowly began to remove his boxing gloves.
“Maybe next time I’ll dress for a workout.” She
Morgan grabbed his towel and wiped the sweat from
his face. He could tell that she was nervous and he wasn’t in the mood to
engage in idle conversation.
“I thought I’d find you hear.” He wasn’t going to
make this easy for her she thought. “You’ve been cleared to return to duty.”
He stared at her intently as he wiped his neck and
“Agent Morgan…I am so sorry!”
“Ma’am you don’t…”
“I seem to be saying that to you a lot lately.” She
interrupted. “I was wrong…about everything…”
He didn’t know what to say to her. He saw the remorse
in the eyes of a woman who was always confident and fearless; a woman who was
hard and never pulled punches or apologized or explained anything that she felt
was justified by her title and the power it gave her. As he continued to stare
into her he saw something else, he wasn’t quite sure what it was, confusion,
terror, he didn’t know, whatever it was it was dark and untouchable.
“So what happens next?” An honest question he
“I don’t know.” She said. “You go back to work and
I go back to doing what I do, running things.”
He shook his head in disbelief and stepped back
grabbing his water bottle.
“It’s that easy for you? You damn near ruined my
life! Hell you almost got me killed! So I go back to work like nothing
happened, my team second guessing everything I do and you’re okay with that?”
“I don’t know what you expect from me, Agent
“You don’t know what I expect…from you?” A
frustrated smile crossed his face. “I don’t expect a damn thing, Strauss! Not a
His words froze her in her tracks. She had nothing
else to say; the fiery look in his eyes made her shiver for just a moment in
fear. He turned and walked back toward the heavy bag where his belongings laid.
As he tossed in his water bottle and towel she spoke again.
Her head had been hurting off and on all morning
and she was feeling a bit disoriented. Her hand reached to the middle of her
back where she’d been carrying her service revolver and pulled it out and aimed
it straight ahead.
Morgan turned slowly and his eyes went immediately
to the gun trained on him. Many were not aware of her abilities with a gun.
She’d been ranked as one of the top marksman in the bureau just under him. He
knew what she could do, that she knew how to use the gun and even though she
hadn’t been in the field in years he was certain that she hadn’t lost her edge.
He figured he had about five steps between him and the hand that held the gun;
five steps seemed like five miles especially if he came up short. His mind went
back to a few short minutes ago when he saw the torment and confusion in her
eyes and he prayed that it would now be his saving grace.
“Strauss, what are you doing?” He took one step
“I have to do this. You didn’t do what you were
told.” She struggled to keep her hand steady.
“You don’t have to do it either.” One more step.
“If I don’t he’ll hurt them!” One step.
“He can’t hurt them. We’ve stopped him. He’s going
away for a long time.”
Her hand was shaking and tears were streaming down
her face. Sykes had gotten to her too. He calmly reached for her hand; the
teary fearful expression suddenly turned to an ice-cold blackness. Then the
loud sound of the gun pierced the calm of the room.
a matter of time but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity. –Hippocrates