Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Derek has had close calls before; too many to count but will this be his last...
Derek always assumed that if he ever lost his life it would be in the line of duty. He’d been in some dangerous situations in the last almost fifteen years of law enforcement and just when he’d seen it all, there was always another case that would come along and leave him breathless and not in a good way.
He had been injured more than he could count but he’d been lucky and so far, none of his injuries had been life threatening. Some of his teammates hadn’t been so lucky. Elle had been shot in her own home and even though she had recovered physically, the invasion into her private sanctuary had changed her forever. Penelope had been shot by a man who pretended to be interested in dating her. She wasn’t an agent and she wasn’t trained to see the warning signs of danger. She simply accepted an offer for dinner with a handsome man. Derek still felt guilty for what had happened; he’d upset her and so out of spite she placed herself in danger, unknowingly. He could go down the list, Reid and his kidnapping by Tobias Henkel, which left him with a constant battle against a dilaudid addiction and Hotch being attacked and tortured by Foyet that nearly robbed him of his life and cost Haley hers. Derek was the first to admit that he’d been damn lucky especially since he was always the first one through the door and the first to head into the unknown after an UNSUB.
Maybe today, was his turn to face death, perhaps his time had finally run out; after all, why should he be spared what the others had not? Still no one was ever prepared for death, and when faced with their own mortality each person would fight with their last breath to survive. Here he was trapped in this cold, dark dingy place, and only God and he knew where, fighting to stay alive. His body racked with pain and bloody and getting weaker by each passing minute, yet he still held out hope that he would survive and his mind continued to run non-stop scenarios to escape to freedom. His mind began to think about his life just like everyone else he supposed who thought they were at the end. His family, friends the things he’d accomplished and his failures. He wanted to believe that he’d made a difference and that someone would miss him when he was gone. Don’t be mistaken Derek wasn’t giving up that wasn’t in his makeup. He recognized that the odds were not in his favor but he still felt the faint beat of his heart and that was enough to fight to make it out and back to his life, to her and so he closed his eyes and prayed even as he laid in the blackness of what could very well be his final resting place.
BAU Headquarters 1 Hour Ago…
“Hey Handsome! Come on, that can wait until tomorrow. The team is waiting on us!”
Penelope entered his office and closed the door. She knew how Derek was when he was focused on a task; everything faded into non-existence until he was finished. Smiling she approached him taking a seat on the edge of the desk.
“Baby Girl, why don’t you go ahead with JJ and I’ll meet you guys in about twenty minutes, okay.” He replied without looking up from his paperwork.
“Ahhh…come on! You know what they say?” She said pouting.
Derek placed his pen down and reluctantly looked up giving her his attention.
“No, tell me, what do they say.” Derek asked.
“All work and no alcohol makes Derek a dull boy.” A sexy smile crossed her face.
“Oh, is that right? I thought it was, “fun.” He began.
“It could be a lot of fun! She winked.
She always knew how to change his mood. She knew just what he needed and when he needed it. He smiled and for a moment forgot about the file in front of him.
“Okay, I hear you.” Derek pushed his chair back and beckoned for her to come to him.
“Oh so you feeling frisky Agent Morgan?” She said as she quickly went to sit on his lap.
“I’m feeling a whole lot of things, Baby Girl but I’ve got to finish this report or Hotch will have my head.”
Brushing a strand of her blonde curls from her face he planted a gentle kiss on her fire red lips.
“Just give me twenty minutes and I’ll join you guys, please?” He pleaded.
Returning the kiss she removed herself reluctantly from his lap.
“Okay, my sexy crime fighter, twenty minutes and not a minute longer!” She said sternly.
“Twenty minutes. I promise.”
Derek’s eyes followed Penelope as she headed for the door. As she turned to say goodbye their eyes and smiles met.
“Hey Baby Girl?”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Would those be his last words to her? Just as they had finally begun a life together would it be snatched away? He had faced danger daily but the one thing that he’d wanted more than anything in the world, had made him turn and run settling instead with meaningless tryst with countless women, wasting precious time that could have and should've been spent with the only woman that had ever owned his heart.
By now she’d really be pissed at him. He was at least an hour late meeting the team. He’d promised her, twenty minutes and no later. He’d heard his cell ring at least five times already; just out of reach from his fingers straining to touch it and tell her he was trying to get to her but…
Mars Bistro -
The team was gathered at a corner table in the rear of the room. This was their favorite table because it put them close to the bar and after the past week of two back -to- back out of town cases, they all needed to be close to the bar.
Derek hadn’t arrived and Penelope didn’t know whether to be pissed or worried and as she dialed his cell for the third time worry won out.
“Hey Garcia, anything wrong? JJ asked noticing the worried frown on her friend’s face.
“Derek said he’d meet us in twenty minutes, we’ve been here an hour and he’s still not here.” She answered.
“Maybe he just lost track of time, he’ll be here don’t worry.”
“I’ve called him three times and he hasn’t answered. His phone goes straight to voicemail.”
“You know how Derek is, Mr. Focus, he’ll probably walk through the door any minute. Now, order another drink and stop worrying!” JJ teased.
“That’s just it, Jayje, we made each other a promise after New York, that we wouldn’t do anything that would cause the other to worry!”
“Garcia, come on…”
“No, JJ, he always, and I mean, always calls if he’s running late and he always answers my calls.”
The headlights had blinded him as he rounded the bend on Bird Creek. It was too late for him to maneuver out of the way in time. He wasn’t expecting to meet a big rig on the wrong side of the road barreling toward him. He knew Penelope hated him taking that road but he was running late and it would cut at least five minutes off of his trip. What could happen, right? Not much traffic travelled on that road at night; most people chose the newer wider road off of I-30 unless they were headed to one of the privately owned luxury cabins in the hills. The crunch of metal and smashing of glass still rung in his ears as he attempted to shift his body under the steering wheel that had him pinned. The excruciating pain that instantly shot through his legs stilled him. He turned his head slowly to find another way to free himself, that’s when he saw the blood mixed with glass on his shirt. His head hurt and he was dizzy he could feel blood trickling down the side of his face then his eyes fluttered closed as he could no longer keep them open.
“Garcia, let me take you home.” JJ said worriedly.
“No. I better stay in case he comes.”
JJ looked at her friend who was near tears. All she could think of was that Morgan better have a good reason for causing her best friend to be worried out of her mind. She knew that he wouldn’t hurt Garcia but she didn’t want to let on that she was worried about him too.
“How about we go by the BAU and see if he’s still there. Besides, if he comes after we leave he’ll call you.”
“O-Okay. This isn’t like Derek, JJ. Something’s wrong.” She said grabbing her jacket.
“Well let’s not jump to conclusions. We’ll find him and we’ll all help you kick his ass.”
Garcia gave her friend a weak smile and as they said goodbye to the others they headed toward the door.
“Mission accomplished, Boss.” A deep raspy voice announced.
“Are you sure he’s dead?” A soft feminine voice asked.
“The way his truck barreled down the side of that hill and folded up like a pretzel, there’s no way he could have survived.”
“I won’t tolerate any screw-ups!”
“Trust me he’s dead and if he’s not he will be long before anybody finds him.”
“You better hope so.”
“Anything else, Boss lady?”
“Close the door on your way out.”
JJ and Penelope arrived back at the BAU and there was no sign of Derek. In fact according to the night janitor, he hadn’t seen him since he’d arrived over an hour ago. Now JJ had to admit out loud that she too was worried.
Hotch sent Alex and Rossi to Morgan’s and he and Reid headed back to headquarters. It wasn’t like Derek to be out of touch with any of them. There had to be an explanation and he didn’t like what it could be. Reid began calling area hospitals but no one matching Morgan’s description had been admitted.
Once Alex and Rossi arrived at the office with no news, Hotch decided to begin an official search for their missing agent. Penelope was a basket case but they needed her to hold it together if they were going to find him.
“Garcia, I need to search through Morgan’s emails and phone calls for the last two weeks. Maybe there’s a clue there. Any unfamiliar numbers or names, anything that may connect to an old case, anything that may sound threatening that he hadn’t told us about.”
“You think someone may have tried to hurt him?” She asked shaking.
“I don’t know but we have to consider everything.” Hotch answered.
“Hey, D! Wake up!” The man’s voice was eerily familiar.
“Come on, son! Wake up!”
“Dad?” Derek answered with relief.
“There, there. That’s better, son.” His father’s voice soothed him.
“I’ve missed you Dad.” He didn’t care that he was crying.
“I’ve missed you too, D.” He wanted to touch his father but his arms refused to move.
“Don’t worry about that.” As if he could read his mind. “You can’t touch me yet. It’s not time.” His father continued and smiled at his son.
“Time?” Derek was confused.
“You’re not giving up yet, are you, D?” His father was the only one who called him, D.
“No. I’m not giving up. I miss you so much, Dad.”
“Yeah, I know you do.”
Derek looked around the room; it was beautiful, bright and it had no furniture or walls. It led out to a garden filled with lavender and yellow flowers. Derek followed his father as he turned and headed toward the outdoors. Just before he stepped over the threshold his father turned back to him.
“No, son you can’t go.” He put his hand up to block him from going any further.
“Where are you going, Dad?”
“I’m not going anywhere. I’m staying. You’re the one that’s going?”
“I don’t understand? I thought I was dead.”
“Why else would I be here with you?”
Derek’s body jerked and his eyes popped open and the pain reminded him that he was still very much alive. It was so cold and the night air was waging war on his weakening body.
Where was everybody? Why hadn’t anyone come to help?
Hotch had accused him of having trust issues before and it had made him angry. He wanted to prove his boss wrong. He wanted to believe that his team could save him in time but as the minutes ticked by he felt himself slipping away and so was his trust.
BAU Headquarters –
The team assembled around the familiar conference table. This was the place where they would discuss cases and strategize about how to save the innocent and catch the evil, crazed and demented members of society. It was odd that they had found themselves here working now to save one of their own. Each of them wore faces riddled with fear and worry as they struggled to push back the thoughts that bombarded their minds. They had to put to use those skills that they’d used everyday in order to bring their teammate home.
“Okay, what do we have?” Hotch began.
“It’s most likely not a kidnapping.” Reid said.
“How do you know?” Garcia asked.
“We would have heard from his abductors by now.” Rossi answered.
“No one who fits Morgan’s description has been admitted to any of the local hospitals.” Reid added.
“I called Mars Bistro and he never showed there after we all left.” Alex chimed in.
“The janitor said he’d been gone at least an hour when we got back.” JJ noted.
“What do we do now? He couldn’t have just disappeared!” Garcia said.
“We need to retrace his steps.” Hotch added.
“You’re right Hotch. We know that he was supposed to meet us at Mars. So we search all the possible routes from here to there.” Rossi instructed.
“Garcia, I know you’re upset but we …” Hotch began.
“I’m good. I’m here and present, just tell me what you need.”
“Good. I need you to pull maps of the routes from here to Mars. Then I need you to trace Morgan’s phone.”
“JJ can you call the Highway Patrol and let them know what’s going on? We need them to start a search now.
She’d waited a long time for the moment she could end Derek Morgan’s life. He’d taken the most important person from her and she wasn’t going to rest until he got what he deserved. He wasn’t happy with just causing her father’s death he had to humiliate him first taking his dignity and reputation and then forcing him to spend his life behind bars.
She knew her father; he would never hurt anyone especially a child. He’d dedicated his entire life helping the kids in her neighborhood make something of themselves and what did he get for it? No, he had to pay for what he’d done and she wouldn’t rest until he was dead.
The beautiful dark skinned woman hadn’t smiled in a long time. Her mind and heart consumed with hatred and anger but now as she stood in front of the mirror touching up her makeup she wiped away a stray tear and smiled for the first time in a long time. She had promised her dad that she’d make him pay. He was daddy’s favorite, and every time he would mention him she felt a twinge of jealousy; she didn’t know why. She wondered how her father must of felt when his favorite betrayed him; she’d never do that to him, never! Aliyah Buford would never betray her father.
BAU Headquarters -
“I found him! Garcia shouted.
The team looked up as she ran through the door.
“I found him!”
“Where is he, Garcia?” Hotch shouted.
A large map was now displayed on the smart board in front of them. There was a small area circled in red.
“Right there!” She said pointing to the spot. “It’s called Bird Creek and it’s a dangerous curve of road and a lot of accidents have occurred there because it’s sharp, treacherous… and damn! I told Morgan not to drive that road! He knows I hate it when he drives that road!”
“Garcia! Calm down! He was probably trying to make up some lost time.” JJ interrupted.
Garcia slumped in a chair trying to make sense of the last several hours.
“I’ve sent Highway Patrol and paramedics to the scene. Oh, God, what if…” Garcia was now in tears.
“Garcia, don’t even go there.” JJ pleaded.
“Let’s go.” Hotch ordered.
Morgan heard sirens in the distance. He wasn’t sure if it was all in his imagination or if it was real. If it were real how would they see him his truck had travelled so far down the hill and he couldn’t reach his phone to call for help.
It was so cold but at least the pain had subsided and all he wanted was to sleep. He was tired of struggling to stay awake. He needed a nap just for a few minutes, what could it hurt…just a few minutes was all he needed…
As his eyes drifted closed he felt as if he were floating and he could almost swear that he saw another glimpse of his father.
TO BE CONTINUED…