Episode 4: Zoe's Redux (Episode Start Date: January 16, 2016)
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
It’s okay Zoe...it’s just an interrogation room, thought Special Supervisory Agent Zoe Hawkes of the Behavioural Analysis Unit. The cold, dark room was foreboding, and with every passing moment, the isolation she felt grew larger and larger. Mentally, it took a lot for her not to be scared of her surroundings, but, if she wanted to get out of this, she had to be strong.
Two hours passed before her interrogator, Agent Emily Prentiss, walked in. Hawkes, whose trepidation literally caused her to sweat, had taken off her sweater vest, revealing a tank top underneath. Prentiss immediately snapped.
“Did I say you could take off your sweater?” said Prentiss. “Put it back on, you tramp. You’re in an interrogation room! Have some class.”
“I was hot, agent,” Hawkes replied defiantly. “Besides, if you’re not going to show me any respect then I have no reason to show you any.”
“You forget, Hawkes, who has the power here.”
“I know who has the power here. It’s not you.”
“Oh really?” Prentiss couldn’t help but laugh derisively.
“Yes. I have something you want. I have no reason to give it to you.” Hawkes stared with intent into Prentiss’ eyes, all while refusing to put her sweater back on.
“You want to play that game? Okay...” Prentiss opened up a folder she carried into the room. “So Zoe Hawkes...Special Supervisory Agent in the FBI...born in Cleveland, Ohio on June 23, 1990 making you age 25...oh, you graduated magna cum laude from both University and high school...well, that’s very nice. You went to Parma Heights Public High School and graduated at the top of your class...then you studied Criminology at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey. Says here afterwards you got a job at the FBI Field Office in New York, then, as a special favour for David Rossi, you joined the BAU on October 15, 2013, a year and a half after you started in New York. You were always very special, weren’t you Hawkes? So why are you such a Mama’s Girl? You make frequent visits to her, even after you joined the FBI...you should be independent, yet here you are, coming home for ‘Sunday meals’. Is that why you didn’t get me a coffee this morning? Because you expect everything to be handed to you because you’re that special?”
Wait, Zoe...this is a trap...it’s ‘pride-and-ego-down’...it’s textbook. “If you want to think that I didn’t work hard for everything I gained then do so...of course, why do you think you’re so special that I need to get you a coffee? You make enough money, do you Emily?”
Outside of the room, Hawkes’ boss, Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner and teammate Rossi were looking on.
“Have you ever met someone that wants to willingly go through an interrogation?” asked Rossi.
“She’s dedicated to her craft, almost to the point of obsession,” said Hotchner.
“Okay, she’s obsessed with it...but I’d rather have someone that dedicated to improving her craft than to have someone who never accepts responsibility for their failures.”
“Why did you send her in to see Kate? She practically folded like a tent.”
Hotchner anticipated the question, having been torn on that decision himself. “Hawkes really wanted to talk to her...I saw the passion in her eyes. I thought if Morgan was there she’d be okay...and I disagree with your assessment...she held her own in there, though she laboured through it...she’s only been with the team for two years...she’s not a seasoned veteran like you and I, and Kate Sanders doesn’t pose nearly the threat that some of our other UnSubs do.”
“How’s she doing in there?” asked teammate Derek Morgan, approaching Hotchner and Rossi.
“She’s doing pretty well,” said Rossi. “She’s not giving Prentiss much.”
“I was concerned for her with Sanders,” said Morgan, “but I couldn’t take my eyes off Kate...one false move and we both could have been toast.”
“You did the right thing,” said Hotchner, “if you’d tended to Hawkes you both would have been dead.”
“Can you believe that lady?” said Morgan, “she never knew when to quit.”
“Kate Sanders was all about control,” said Hotchner. “When she lost it, she started to grasp for straws...that’s why she struck at Hawkes, thinking she’d be able to regain control but we knew she didn’t have a chance.”
Prentiss and Hawkes emerged from the interrogation room, with Hawkes still not wearing her sweater. She reached for it before Hotchner stopped her.
“It’s okay,” said Hotchner, worried that she was doing so as a sign of weakness, “you’re still professional. It’s just us right here, we’re not yet in the office.”
“I know,” said Hawkes, who still put the vest on, “but I don’t want to forget when I do step out of the hallway.”
“OK,” said Hotchner, convinced Hawkes was doing so for practical purposes. “Prentiss, how’d she do?”
“I think she did pretty well,” said Prentiss. “I told her this many times...she’s stronger than she gives herself credit for. She didn’t crack once.”
“I do know all the tricks,” said Hawkes, “so I don’t know why I let Katie get to me.”
“When you want something so badly you can taste it,” said Rossi. “You get carried away. It happens to all of us.”
“I’m just this bucket of emotions,” said Hawkes, hanging her head in shame. “I hate that about me.”
“No you don’t,” said Morgan. “You only say that because of what happened with Katie. You wear your heart on your sleeve...that means you’re in tune with your emotions, and you feed off the emotions of others. You relate to people, Hawkes. You’re not cold or distant...you’ve become a lot of people’s friends.”
“It’s admirable that you want to be better,” said Rossi. “At some point, though, you just have to understand that you can’t do it all on your own...that’s why we have a team. Even though we’re all trained in each other’s jobs, we all know there’s members of this team that can do things better than we can, just how there’s jobs we can do better than other members of the team. I mean...we’re not going to send Reid to go kick a bad guy’s ass, we get Morgan to do it. However, we’re not going to ask Morgan to explain momentum and geometry...we get Reid to do that.”
Hawkes smiled, reassured by Rossi.
“Come on,” said Prentiss, putting her arm around Hawkes. “I think I owe you a coffee.”
“Kids,” said Rossi to Hotchner upon the two of them returning to Hotchner’s office. “They always want to be the masters of everything...they never like making mistakes.”
“Youth brings scrutiny,” said Hotchner, “you believe the grizzled veteran because they’ve been through the wars, but a kid doesn’t look like they’ve seen anything so you constantly wonder if the kid really understands the reality of the job. Look at Reid...he’s been with this team for over a decade...yet he still gets looks.”
“Reid’s more in content with his abilities than Zoe is,” said Rossi.
“Reid’s matured,” said Hotchner. “I’ve seen it right before my eyes. Gone is the wide-eyed kid I saw when he started working, the one who could barely hold on to a gun properly or even have the courage to talk to an UnSub. Now...while I wouldn’t want him chasing down villains like Morgan does, or talking them down like Prentiss does, at least I know I don’t need someone to come in and save him if he gets into trouble...he can more than hold his own.”
“Zoe at least doesn’t have problems passing her field qualifications though,” said Rossi.
“Hawkes’ problem isn’t with the quality of her work,” said Hotchner, “it’s her zeal. She’s more likely to be reckless, moreso than Morgan. She won’t fight fair, and she follows her hunches way too much...but if she didn’t have the ability to think on the fly, then she wouldn’t be the agent that she is. Yes, many times her hunches are wrong...but many times, we don’t have time to sit around and wait for a decision...that’s where she’s most valuable. Her emotions...she’ll get over them as she gets older, especially as she gets more confidence in her abilities. That’s when she’ll also learn to stop second guessing herself...because that’s when she’ll learn to trust her instincts.”
January 4, 2009, Downtown Cleveland, Ohio
“Mr. Rossi,” said a sheepish Hawkes as she approached Rossi, who had just finished delivering a lecture at a book store. She was nervously clutching her books tightly against her, though she still extended her hand. “Great lecture tonight.”
“Glad you liked it kiddo,” said Rossi, firmly shaking her hand. “Do you go to school in the area?”
“Actually, I go to Rutgers...I study Criminology. I go back home during the Christmas break to see my mother...she lives down the road, in Parma Heights. I’m not usually in this area but when I heard you were lecturing, I had to come. I love all of your books.” She smiled again, nervously.
Rossi patted her on the back, hoping it would relieve her tension. “Don’t worry kiddo, it’s just me.”
“It’s not that...it’s...” Hawkes stopped herself before continuing. “It’s just that...over in East Cleveland there’s been a string of strange murders lately...I know, East Cleveland’s pretty rough...but I can’t help but thing something is going on there.”
“I know what you’re talking about,” said Rossi. “I read just about every murder story that comes out on this continent...the ones here have piqued my interest a little bit. The murder rate has been unusually high in the past few weeks and...from what I can tell from the news reports, M.O.’s seem to be everywhere. I’ve offered my advice to the police when I can, but they haven’t called us in yet so there’s little we can actually do.”
“I’ve had a look at the area whenever I could...I think there’s a serial killer on the loose who is ‘practicing’...I just feel it...deep down inside. I don’t know how to connect them, but I’m working on it.”
“Keep digging.” Rossi pulled out his card to give to Hawkes. “Let us know if you find anything.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“I see an H...he’s calling to me,” said a man in a suit to a lady in the audience. It was BAU teammate Dr. Spencer Reid watching a video of a purported psychic.
“That’s my uncle Herbert!” said the lady to the man. “He died last week!”
“He said he understood what happened, and he’s sorry that things couldn’t have worked out differently.”
“We had to take him off life support...it was so hard...but his brain damage was just too much. I’m so glad he’s not upset with us.”
“He understands life hasn’t been the same since the accident, but he wants you to know that none of it is your fault.”
“I really tried holding that ladder for him...I really did...but I slipped.”
“It’s okay...he forgives you.”
“I’m so glad.” The lady began to sob, at which point the man approached her in the audience and gave her a hug. “Thank you...thank you so much.”
“Is that Patrick Jane?” asked Jennifer Jareau, the BAU’s media liaison passing by Reid’s desk.
“It is,” said Reid. “The famous psychic that now works for the California Bureau of Investigation...I’ve been watching his videos because I’ve been thinking of Red John again...I know, we haven’t been called into the case yet but I only think it’s a matter of time now...it’s been five years, he’ll eventually broaden his horizons beyond the CBI’s jurisdiction, even if it’s by accident.”
“Do you have anything on RJK? He’s been pretty elusive...he doesn’t leave a lot of evidence behind.”
“Not much...I do know he’s a narcissist because he leaves behind symbols, and that he likely works in law enforcement, since one of his accomplices was a sheriff and for someone to evade capture this long and killing this visibly has to know something about forensics and its countermeasures. He also has a strange obsession with Jane...which doesn’t narrow down much because Jane’s been in the public eye for so long, so there’s a long list of people who fit that description. He commands respect, though, since he seems to have quite a few people working for him and they seem to be willing to do anything for him...he’s organized and intelligent, and likely in his 40s now.”
“Sounds like he might be running a cult...I’ve heard people describe him as ‘Messianic’.”
“It’s not out of the realm of possibility...in fact, I’ve openly thought that perhaps his ‘cult’ is a rogue unit within the CBI itself...it might explain why one sting operation got botched ‘from the inside’.”
“How’d you hear about that? There isn’t a single news report about a sting operation.”
“I’ve heard whispers, talking with other agents...quite a few are as flummoxed about the case as I am.”
“Hey Spencer,” said Hawkes, smiling at Reid as she sat down at her desk beside him. She then took off her sweater vest.
“Hey Zoe,” said Reid, catching a look at Hawkes. She looks lovely...that tank top really accentuates the curves of her body...okay Spencer stop that...she’s your co-worker. Hawkes flipped her hair behind her ears, her auburn locks glistening in the office lights. Reid then had an image of Hawkes shaking her head in slow motion, with her locks flowing as she moved her head. Stop it man, stop it!
“You okay Spencer? I’m just feeling very hot right now.”
Yes, you are very hot. “I’m...I’m okay...um...” Reid sped up his speech. “Do you remember Red John? I’ve been looking into the case and-”
Hawkes laughed, thinking about how cute Reid was when he was having an awkward moment. She didn’t plan for it, so it became an unexpected surprise for her. “Spencer, slow down. I remember Red John...the man’s a modern day Zodiac. I hope the CBI catches him soon. Did you find some new information?”
“Unfortunately not...but I find his case and the case of Patrick Jane to be very fascinating.”
“Just like you are, Spencer.” Hawkes smiled before logging on to her computer to work.
January 5, 2009, East Cleveland, Ohio
Hawkes looked over the body. It was a female prostitute, eviscerated as she was leaving the residence of a john. It’d been there for a few days, as the police were still investigating. Hawkes came at night, when the police were done, and got as far to the crime scene as she could.
“So we’ve had BTK, Son of Sam, the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run and now...the Ripper,” said Hawkes to herself.
“It’s quite the assortment of killers that Cleveland has had lately,” said a man approaching Hawkes. He was a Caucasian male with scruffy hair and a full assortment of facial hair, but his hair was groomed and he appeared to be in good health and spirits.
“Back off!” Hawkes authoritatively held a can of mace to the man’s face.
The man tried to be reassuring. “Do you think if I was going to attack you I’d just come and say hello?”
“You expect me to believe that, in East Cleveland? I know serial killers come in all shapes and sizes...heck, Ted Bundy was quite the charmer if I recall correctly.”
“Well, okay...we got off on the wrong foot...I apologize for scaring you...my name is Eric Olson. I live down the street. These murders have been racking my brain for weeks.”
Hearing the name rang a few bells for Hawkes. She didn’t realize she’d met him ten years earlier when her family visited Sanibel Island in Florida, where Olson used to live. She started to let her guard down just a little, knowing he was an old acquaintance. “I’ve been trying to figure it out myself...sad the police hasn’t gotten involved.”
“I agree completely. It’s probably the area...that’s how he gets away.”
“It must be.” Hawkes started to think Olson was pretty cute, but she was too shy to ask him out.
“There’s a coffee shop down the corner if you’d like to discuss this a bit more.”
“Sure.” Hawkes smiled warmly. “I’d like that.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“These are strange messages,” said Morgan, staring at his computer screen. “I mean, who immortalizes a seagull and a fish? Well, this is Florida...it makes a lot of sense when you think about it that way.” One picture showed a bubble painted in the sand, with the line interspersed with hearts. Inside the bubble was the message “R.I.P. Angel” written in assorted seashells, with another message right below it- written in the sand- saying “we miss you seagull”. The second picture showed a fish skeleton with the message “R.I.P. Carl” written underneath it with beat-like twigs.
“Are those the pictures from Sanibel Island?” asked Reid, who was visiting Morgan’s cubicle.
“Yes they are,” answered Morgan. “It’s funny...the locals are used to all sorts of different sand structures...so I’m confused about why anyone would send me something like this...although no one has seen two R.I.P. messages in the same week...that’s ringing a few alarm bells.”
“They’re made out to Angel and Carl...Angel is manifested as a seagull while it appears like Carl is a pike...the only way this makes sense is if we think about the Casarans...they believe in reincarnation, but they believe you only manifest itself in a life-form once, so you can only have one life as a human. Your next life was based upon how you lived in the previous one, and a bird represents freedom or a ‘good life’, whereas a fish represents weakness or a ‘bad life’...Casarans believed at a funeral they could ‘influence’ the next life by having an image of the desired life-form in question...this is about sending a message.”
“So Sanibel has an African UnSub.”
“No...this guy is a copycat. Casarans used more local birds and fish when they made a message like this...these are local to Sanibel.”
“So we have two murders...Angel and Carl. I’ll have to get Garcia to look into missing person reports.”
Just then, Hawkes walked by Morgan’s computer. She stared at the messages with intent, then bolted to the bathroom, where she could heard vomiting violently. Hotchner heard Hawkes’ hurls and ran outside to understand what was happening.
“Morgan...Reid,” said Hotchner, motioning the two agents to come to him. “Is Hawkes okay?”
“I didn’t even realized she had passed,” said Morgan, walking instinctively towards the bathroom, as did Hotchner. Reid contemplated doing the same, but he instead decided to sit and watch knowing he didn’t need to be there with Hotchner and Morgan handling the situation. He did watch with interest, out of concern for Hawkes.
“Hawkes?” shouted Hotchner through the door as Morgan pounded away at it. “Are you okay?” When there was no answer, Hotchner asked for Prentiss to come and take a look. She was already on her way, as was Rossi, the commotion drawing them both in.
Prentiss walked in and saw Hawkes lying in a stall right next to the toilet, still moving but staggering. She eventually sat up right next to the wall, still weak from the vomiting.
“Hawkes?” asked Prentiss, concerned. “Are you okay?”
“Prentiss...” started Hawkes.
“I think you need to go home.”
“No...take me to the First Aid Room...he can’t get me there.”
“He? Who are you talking about?”
January 14, 2009, Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey
“Oh man, I’ve wanted to do this all day,” said Hawkes with excitement.
Hawkes quickly closed the door to her dorm room and started to passionately kiss Olson, as both of them stripped each other. Olson, being particularly strong, held Hawkes up against the wall as he had his way with her body, Hawkes’ excitement level growing with every stroke of his fingertips and every caress with his mouth.
The two of them eventually made their way to Hawkes’ bed, with Olson throwing her on to it, just how Hawkes liked it. Of course, it wasn’t Olson’s style to have sex in a bed, so Hawkes instinctively crawled out of it and cleared her stuff off of her desk so they could continue enjoying themselves there. Even though Olson liked it rough as well and thoroughly enjoyed banging Hawkes against the wall, when he kissed and fondled, he did it with care, and he made sure he didn’t go too far when he did throw her around. Tonight, Hawkes tackled him onto their bed so she could service him there, figuring she needed to instigate some foreplay considering Olson usually did it himself. Eventually, Olson planted Hawkes on her chair and had sex with her right there, and when they were finished they both climaxed in a grand moment of ecstasy. It was fast, it was haphazard and it was rough but, most importantly it was exciting- Olson was nothing like the boyfriends Hawkes had before.
The next day, Hawkes met her friends in the dormitory cafeteria with an excited smile on her face. They knew what it was about.
“Hey Zoe,” said Amanda Blackburn. “I guess your ‘boy toy’ came over last night?”
“He’s not my ‘boy toy’ Mandy...I think I like him,” Hawkes said, barely containing her excitement.
“You’ve only known him for what, nine days?” said Jessie Palmer. “You can’t like a guy after that many days.”
“This is so real guys,” said Hawkes, enamoured by her new love. “He’s into criminology like I am...we connect on so many different levels...and the sex...oh boy...the sex.” Hawkes and her friends shared a giggle, before Hawkes started clutching her back.
“What’s wrong Zoe?” said Blackburn.
“I must have bruised something last night,” said Hawkes, wincing. “Hey, no pain no gain.”
“Yeah...” said Palmer. She looked at Blackburn with a look of concern, with Blackburn sharing the same look.
“No...this is all consensual guys,” said Hawkes. “I don’t want you to worry about me.”
“Zoe...” started Palmer. “We’ve seen this too many times...you find some ‘new guy’, you quickly fall in love and three weeks later, he breaks your heart. You get attached way too easy...plus, if he’s hurting you right now during sex, imagine what it will be like down the road...guys like that get off on violence...see how he reacts when you cook his steak wrong.”
“He’s going to be different,” said Hawkes, trying to reassure her friends. “Besides...we all need something to take the stress off of all these final projects...it’s as if four years of University weren’t enough.”
“I know what you mean about that,” said Palmer, thinking, as did Blackburn, that it wouldn’t benefit to keep on pressing the issue.
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“Angel and Carl are his parents,” said Hawkes, still woozy. “He’s killed them.”
“What makes you so sure?” said Prentiss.
“They live on Sanibel Island...he’s read all this stuff about African culture...he’s very well read about a lot of things...he just never went to school so he never learned how to properly apply things.”
“So now you’re worried he’s going to come after you?”
“I don’t know...I just know he was practicing all this killing just so he could figure out how to kill his parents...his father abused him regularly, even when he wasn’t at home...Carl called him all the time...left threatening messages on his cell phone...Eric had to change the number but they still found out.”
The door opened to the bathroom as another woman came in. It was Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia, running to check on Hawkes with a cup of chicken noodle soup.
“Here,” said Garcia, handing Hawkes the soup. “Drink this. Are you okay pumpkin? Is she okay, Emily?” Hawkes nodded yes.
“Yes, she’s fine,” said Prentiss. “Just scared...her old tormentor is loose.”
“Eric Olson?” said Garcia.
“How do you know?” asked Prentiss
“Derek asked me to look up the names in the missing person database,” said Garcia. “Eric Olson’s parents Angel and Carl were both reported missing just yesterday, though there’s no bodies found as of yet.”
“That doesn’t fit Eric’s M.O.,” said Prentiss, surprised. “He doesn’t hide things.”
“Things are different now, Prentiss,” said Hawkes, starting to feel better with the soup. “He learned from the first time...he got caught because of his original M.O.”
“So how’d he get out now?” said Prentiss.
“He skipped bail,” said Garcia, “and the border between Roman Florida and the North American Union is undefended, so as long as he had falsified documents, he could flee.”
“So he might not even be in Sanibel anymore,” said Prentiss.
“No,” said Hawkes. “He will be...he loved it down there...he would never leave.”
“Means we have to make him,” said Prentiss.
March 15, 2009, Wessex, Ontario
“I’m glad you took me up here,” said Hawkes, lying on a couch with Olson. The couple had escaped for Mid-Winter Break in a cabin that Olson had built the previous summer.
“Isn’t it amazing,” said Olson. “Just the two of us, sitting by the fireplace...the perfect place to get away from all of our ills?”
“Yeah.” Hawkes started to run her fingers up and down Olson’s chest. “My friends were worried about me dating you...they didn’t this would last...look at us now.” They smiled, as Hawkes leaned in to kiss Olson.
“I’m just glad to get away from my dad. I’m a grown man...I can take care of myself now.” As if on cue, the phone in the cabin rang. It was Carl.
“Are you that tramp he’s going out with?” said Carl Olson to Hawkes, who picked up the phone, “because your loser of a boyfriend forgot to take me shopping today.”
“I resent your description of me and I profoundly offended by your actions. My boyfriend owes you nothing. Good day,” said Hawkes, slamming down the phone. “The nerve...”
Eric Olson snickered at his dad, then changed the subject. “Treasure, I’m going to go grab some firewood...I noticed our fireplace is getting low.” They kissed before Olson departed for the woods.
Hawkes decided to take this opportunity to look around. They spent so much time together that she never got to see Olson’s vast collections of books in the living room, mostly on crimes and culture. He’s so well read, thought Hawkes, I need to learn more about this man. She picked up a book, Rossi’s “Compendium of Serial Killer Profiles”, the textbook on criminal profiling, and began to read. What she found horrified her- interspersed within the pages of the profiles were pictures of the crime scenes she visited back in January, as if Olson was checking off which killers he’d already managed to copycat.
“Oh my...” said Hawkes, hurriedly putting the book and its contents back in order in shock. She started to breathe heavily contemplating her next course of action before Olson walked back in.
“Treasure,” said Olson, “what are you doing?”
“I should have known,” said Hawkes. “ ‘Treasure’ was the pet name the Stampede Stabber gave all of his victims...dear goodness Eric...am I going to be a victim too?”
“Woah, woah, woah...you stop that now...I’m not doing any of that stuff.”
“The book Eric...you have pictures of the crime scenes that I visited. Crimes that I investigated...ones that I stopped looking at because you said we’d figure this out together. Is that why you haven’t killed anyone in two months? Because you didn’t want me to find out who you really were?”
“I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Hawkes took Rossi’s book and thrust it in his face. “This Eric! Are you that dense?”
“That’s not what you think it is, Zoe.”
“Then what is it? How’d those pictures get in there? You and I are the only ones who know about this cabin; and I didn’t take any pictures of the crime scene...in fact, the picture with the Ripper...it’s got me in it. It’s time-stamped at the exact moment that you met me...that’s a strange coincidence, don’t you think?”
“Don’t you ‘Treasure’ me anymore, boy! We’re through.”
Olson reacted the only way that he could- violence. He darted for Hawkes, grabbed her and threw her on a nearby chair. He ripped off her shirt and used it to bind her hands behind the backside of the chair, and did the same with her legs with her pants. He also took off her underwear just so she could sit there, naked. As she squirmed and struggled, Olson hit her as many times as he needed to, just to make sure she didn’t resist anymore. He then violently raped her, knocking over the chair in the process. He then put it back up and reached for a pistol he kept behind the case.
In the meantime, Hawkes was sobbing uncontrollably, resigned to her fate. “No! Please don’t! I’m sorry, I’m sorry...” She cried some more, her body gripped with fear about what was going to happen next. “Eric, no! Please...please...OH MOMMY MOMMY, PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!” She continued to cry, but instead of hearing a gunshot, she heard Eric drop the gun and bolt out of the cabin. Hawkes continued to sob, until she got so tired that she just fell asleep.
March 16, 2009, Quantico, Virginia
“Are you sure about this?” asked Rossi to his visitors, Blackburn and Palmer.
“Yes,” said Palmer. “Zoe doesn’t miss class...she’s always on time, in fact, she’s usually early...not seeing her today makes me think something happened to her.”
“Okay,” said Rossi. “Who was she with?”
“This weirdo,” said Blackburn. “Eric Olson...also from Cleveland. He visited her a lot on campus...they were having really loud sex...pretty violent too...she had a lot of bruises from the times she spent with him, but she was so happy that we eventually concluded that he wasn’t actually hurting her. Of course, we know that someone who is violent in bed is more likely to be violent, but...”
“Young love,” said Rossi, finishing her sentence. An older lady walked into Rossi’s office.
“Hello,” said Rossi to the woman, “can I help you?”
“Yes,” said the woman. “I’m Sheila Hawkes...Zoe’s mother. I’m sure her friends here have told you that she’s missing...she never came home on Sunday...she never misses Sunday dinner. Eric even told us she’d be back for it...something’s up.”
“Did Eric tell any of you where they were going?” asked Rossi.
“All we know was that it was a cabin somewhere in Ontario,” said Blackburn. “He didn’t tell us where it was...Zoe’s Facebook account doesn’t even say because Zoe never turns on the ‘Places’ feature.”
“It’s usually smart,” said Rossi. “Stops stalkers, though in this case it could have helped. Why’d you guys come to me and not the police?”
“She loves you,” said Sheila. “She has all of your books...we know you can help.”
Rossi contemplated for a second what his next course of action would be. There wasn’t much to go on but he had an affinity for Zoe...he knew she was special. “I’ll take the case.” He then looked over Sheila’s shoulder outside his room to see Morgan and Reid practicing hacky-sack on the office floor, “and I got the best people for the job.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
“Hotch,” said Morgan to Hotchner just outside of the bathroom. “We gotta take this case...we can’t let Olson get away again.”
“If he’s skipped bail then this is a continental case,” said Hotchner. “We can take it...we don’t need to be asked. The only problem is, we don’t know that he’s actually in Florida.”
“Hotch...I know Hawkes sometimes leads us on a wild goose chase...but she knows Olson better than any of us...we should trust her judgement.”
“Okay. I’ll notify Sanibel PD that we’re on our way. I want you and Reid to go to the beach and examine the messages in the sand, see if you can find anything. I’m going to send Hawkes and Prentiss to the Olson household and see what they can find. Rossi and I will meet with the police and see what their investigation has turned up so far.”
March 16, 2009, Quantico, Virginia
“Okay, so Zoe Hawkes was investigating a string of strange murders in Cleveland, Ohio,” said Reid, discussing the case with Rossi and Morgan in Rossi’s office.
“Then they stopped,” said Morgan. “Around the time she meets Olson.”
“We don’t know for certain that Olson is the killer we’re after,” said Rossi. “It’s entirely possible that this case is unrelated and that maybe something happened to Olson as well.”
“Olson fits the profile of the killer, though,” said Reid. “Zoe’s friends describe him as someone who is into serial killers as much as Zoe was, and the murders do suggest that someone is ‘practicing’ his craft, like a young person would. We can tell he’s well versed in serial killer literature but I’m not sure he comprehends it on a high level, because his crimes are still very disorganized.”
“I think it’s too coincidental,” said Morgan. “The killings happen, Olson meets Zoe and the killings stop...I don’t know how we can’t conclude there’s a connection. Olson also has a very violent personality...Zoe’s friends have reported that the two have had very violent sex.”
“Yes he does fit a serial killer profile,” said Rossi, getting up and staring at his bookshelf, contemplating. “I’m just not sure he fits the Cleveland serial killer profile...but...” Rossi waved his finger in the air to remind himself not to get carried away, “we’re getting away from the task at hand, and that’s finding Zoe. We’ll worry about the Cleveland killings later.”
“He’s either a serial killer or a serial killer in the making,” said Morgan. “We know that much. So, where in Ontario could a serial killer go to hide a body.”
“A body?” said Rossi, in shock, although he knew the possibility that Hawkes was dead passed his mind, as much as he didn’t want to think about it.
“I wouldn’t like to think that either Rossi, but we can’t ignore it...her chances aren’t so great now,” said Morgan.
“Ontario is blessed with a lot of open spaces surrounded by cities,” said Reid. “There’s ample opportunities for a killer to dump a body without having to make too much of a drive. In fact...” Reid pointed to an item on Rossi’s shelf. “Is that an Ontario road map?”
Rossi took a look and answered in the affirmative.
“Pass it over to me,” said Reid. Rossi dutifully handed Reid the map, which Reid promptly unfurled.
“Hey, don’t break it,” said Rossi. “I still use that from time to time.”
“He’s right here,” said Reid, marking a city on the map.
“Wessex?” said Morgan.
“Wessex County has been described as ‘The Killer’s Dumping Ground’,” said Reid. “Not just because it’s surrounded by wooded areas perfect for dumping bodies, but because Wessex has been so chronically mismanaged that their police department never gets around to investigating any bodies on time. The city is so poorly managed that the CTV network in Canada made a TV series called ‘Dan For Mayor’ about a buffoon who won the mayoral election simply by running on a lark...it was a pretty accurate depiction of what goes on in the town, much to the chagrin of the townspeople.”
“So that’s where we’ll find Zoe,” said Rossi, excited. “Is the plane ready?”
“Just called them,” said Morgan. “Wheels up in 30.”
“You’re starting to sound a lot like Hotch,” said Reid, with a laugh.
Morgan laughed as well. “Yeah,” he replied, “well, I still wouldn’t want his position...I’ve got too much work as it is on my own...I know, I have leadership aspirations but I’m not sure if I could do his job where I’m at right now.”
Present day, Quantico, Virginia
Hawkes by now had calmed down, and was seated with the rest of the team in Hotchner’s office. Right next to her and holding her hand was Garcia, as Hawkes sat, slouching and still feeling scared about the prospect of Olson being free. Reid sat on the other side of her, while Morgan, Rossi and Prentiss were standing. Hotchner was seated at his desk, trying to get a read on Hawkes.
“Let me just start that I understand your reaction,” said Hotchner. “If anyone knows about being violated, it’s me.”
“I thought George Foyet didn’t...” said Hawkes, her voice trailing off.
“No he didn’t,” replied Hotchner, “but he toyed with my sense of control. I never let anyone get inside my head...I’ve stared into the eyes of a thousand killers, and only one- Foyet- gave me the thousand yard stare. This was a guy who knew my every move and everything else about me and played me like a violin. I know your situation is different and I can’t claim to understand what you went through, but believe me I know what it’s like when you have that one person that gets inside your head and torments you.”
“Billy Flynn was in his sixties,” said Morgan, beginning to flail away with his arms, “and he knocked me out cold. I didn’t know he was an ex-Marine...all I knew was that I was knocked out cold by some old guy and that got to me. That, and that he took Ellie Spicer. Fortunately the second time when he tried to do it again I anticipated it and kicked his ass, but Billy taught me to never underestimate my opponents.”
“Tobias Hankel had me bound in his farm for an extremely long night,” said Reid. “I cracked very easily because here was this guy who made me realize just how spiritless I had become...it was harrowing being in a place of torment that doubled as a place of spiritual awakening...and he made me dig my own grave. Thankfully- as I predicted, since most religious people don’t actually read every part of the Bible- Hotchner understood my trick and used it to locate me, but it was tough sledding for a while.”
“I got shot,” said Garcia. “I’m the one that’s full of life and never experiences any danger yet here I was, clinging to my life and having to realize that I just might not have taken things as seriously as I should have.”
“Once Ian Doyle figured out I wasn’t going to sleep with him that night he had me tied up in a warehouse in Boston,” said Prentiss. “I still have the brand that he left for me on my left breast...fortunately the BAU and JTF-12 teams were on his trail and apprehended him but as strong as I am, I knew Doyle is crazy prepared and it was the only time I ever felt my life was in actual danger.”
“Before any of you were even alive,” said Rossi, eliciting a laugh from the room, “John Wayne Gacy found me and locked me in his cellar with all of his victims...it was one of my first cases, and I had to rely on Max Ryan, of all people, to help save me...I was young and scared just like you are Zoe, and I questioned why I even took up this profession...fortunately for me, Ryan’s sense of justice prevailed over any kind of hatred he had for me and that made me realize that I had to soldier on, for justice, and that I should never take this job for granted.”
“The point is,” said Hotchner, “we’re all here for you and we know what you’re going through. There’s no need to feel bad about it. I know you want to appear tough and strong but you don’t need to be- we’re always here to help...we’re in this together.”
“Thanks guys,” said Hawkes. “If I could hug you all right now I would.”
Hotchner laughed. “We’ll have a group hug later...we have business to take care of,” he said. “Hawkes...now that your head is clear and that you know Olson better than any of us, how should we proceed?”
“Okay,” said Hawkes, slowly regaining her composure. “He hated Carl, hence why he used the fish, but Angel...that had to have been a mercy killing. He loved her, but her family had a history of cancer and it was only a matter of time before she’d be afflicted by it to, so if she’s dead, it’s because he felt sorry for her. I remember...” her voice trailed off, remembering her frightening experience at the cabin in Wessex. Garcia instinctively rubbed her back, allowing Hawkes to continue. “He spared me because I shouted for my mother, because he realized he couldn’t kill someone with as much of an attachment to their mother as he did for his.”
“Did you plan for that?” asked Hotchner.
“No,” said Hawkes. “It was just instinct...when I was a little girl having nightmares I always called for her and...well, I had as much of a nightmare as anyone could ever experience.”
“So do you think he looks at you as ‘the one that got away?” asked Morgan.
“I don’t think so,” said Hawkes. “I mean, I can never be sure, but he reacted in a fit of range, not because he actually wanted to kill me. I still don’t believe he would. I think he still loves me...I remember getting a text message from him a week after his assault saying how sorry he was and that he wanted to make things right, but I knew better. Even after his arrest, he still looked at me with genuine love in his eyes. So I don’t think I’m in any real danger, nor are my parents.”
“We’ll still get them personal security services,” said Hotchner. “We can’t take any risks.”
“I’ll be okay coming with you guys,” said Hawkes. “I know I’m not Morgan or Prentiss but I’m not afraid of him anymore, all because your stories helped me tough this out.”
“You’ll be with me anyway,” said Prentiss, “and we don’t split up at all.”
“Understood,” said Hawkes.
March 17, 2009, Wessex, Ontario
“Reid, you better be sure about this,” said an exasperated Morgan. The three of them had been driving in the back woods within Wessex town limits for over an hour without much luck.
“I’m sure about this,” said Reid. “It has to be here...Wessex is notorious for its lackadaisical building licensing.”
“Is there anything the town gets right?” said Rossi, sardonically.
“The pub is pretty good,” said Morgan.
“I think I know why,” said Rossi.
Reid then pointed at a log cabin with excitement. Morgan had to hurriedly turn around to navigate the truck to the cabin that Reid pointed out, but when they got there they were astounded.
“That’s a near replica of the cabin that Leonard Lake and Charles Ng used to assault their victims,” said Rossi. “My goodness...this town is so stupid.”
“Guys,” said Reid, calling their attention to the side entrance, “the back door has been left ajar.”
“The mother f---er fled already,” said Morgan, who cussed again in frustration. He drew his gun and led the team inside. Reid then noticed the room that Hawkes was held captive in. He made sure the room was safe and then rushed to Hawkes.
As soon as he touched her neck to check her pulse Hawkes woke up and began sobbing on his shoulder. He undid her ties and she held him, sobbing uncontrollably.
“Guys!” Reid shouted to the other two, “she’s down here! Get me some clothes and call the paramedics.”
“I’m sorry,” said Hawkes. “I know you’re not supposed to do this but I can’t help myself...I haven’t seen a soul that wants to help me in so long.” She then planted a firm kiss on Reid’s mouth. “Thank you.”
“Zoe,” said Reid, “we’re here to help. Trust me, you’re not the first naked woman I’ve rescued...they usually don’t kiss me, but hey, there’s a first time for everything.”
“You’re cute,” said Hawkes, laughing at Reid’s statement. “You’re Spencer Reid, right?”
“Yes,” said Reid. “How’d you know?”
“Oh I love your work,” said Hawkes, “and I had to quote one of your papers for an essay I wrote last year.”
“Zoe!” said Rossi, hurriedly tossing Hawkes some clothes. She put them on and gave Rossi and Morgan hugs. “Thank goodness you’re okay,” continued Rossi, who held Hawkes as if she was his daughter.
“I knew you guys would come for me,” said Hawkes. “Thank you so much.” She then looked down at her clothes, which was a mismatched set of a golf shirt and short shorts. “I would never wear these clothes,” she remarked with a laugh. “Come on, you guys don’t have a lady that could have come save me?” The three men laughed, happy that Hawkes was finally making light of the situation.
Hawkes stayed overnight at a Windsor hospital- per Rossi’s request- and, despite being knocked around by Olson, her body amazingly escaped with only minor cuts, scratches and bruises, and would be fine the next day. The three men stayed with her the whole night, trying to plan their next course of action.
“Eric Olson could be anywhere now,” said Morgan, having gotten off the phone with Garcia. Olson had managed to forge a new license plate and falsified documents for himself once he arrived at Wessex. “There’s serial killers everywhere.”
“I think there’s one place in particular that he would go,” said Reid, “and that’s where most serial killers congregate- California.”
“Guys,” said Hawkes, weakly from her bed. “He’s not going to California...he’s going to Florida. His parents live on Sanibel Island, and he hates his father...all this killing...it’s because he wanted to practice before he killed his father.”
“Why just his father?” asked Rossi.
“His father was an abusive alcoholic,” said Hawkes. “He beat him and his mother incessantly...he left the house just to avoid him but Carl still found ways to taunt him. He never admitted it to me directly but, putting all this together, Carl Olson is the ultimate object of ire for him and his ultimate target. You don’t practice killing just for the heck of it...you practice killing because you have a target and you want to do it right.”
“We’re making a massive leap here,” said Reid. “The evidence doesn’t suggest Florida at all...this whole time his behaviour is consistent with someone who loves serial killers...why would he deviate from this path?”
“Okay, genius,” said Morgan with a hint of incredulousness. “Why don’t you tell us where he’s going then?”
“I don’t know,” replied Reid, sheepishly.
“Zoe has given us a lead,” said Rossi. “It may not be much of one, but it’s something. We need to follow it.”
Present day, Sanibel, Florida
“Prentiss,” said Hawkes, putting on her seatbelt in anticipation of the drive to the Olson house. “I know Hotch told us to go to the Olson house, but I don’t think we’ll find anything there.”
“Okay,” said Prentiss, “where should we go?”
“There’s a little used beach to the west of the Causeway, right adjacent to it,” said Hawkes. “Olson had a few pictures of it at his house, and it’s the perfect dumping ground for two bodies. It’s also a fisher’s paradise and Olson was really into fishing.”
“I’m trusting you on this, Hawkes,” said Prentiss, calling Hotchner on her cell phone.
“Hotch,” said Prentiss, “Hawkes thinks we shouldn’t go to the Olson house...she thinks the Causeway has a better link.”
“Can I talk to her?” said Hotchner.
“Yes,” said Prentiss, passing the phone to Hawkes.
“Hawkes?” said Hotchner.
“Yes?” said Hawkes, wondering if something was wrong.
“Why the Causeway?”
“There’s a little used beach there...it’s perfect for dumping bodies and Olson loved that area...I’ve seen multiple pictures in his apartment. He would have dumped the bodies there.”
“Okay, you can go there but if you find nothing, go immediately to the Olson house.”
Once the pair reached the destination, they were greeted by a yellow gate that stopped them from driving the car any further. As Hawkes predicted, the beach there was empty, but there was no sign of any bodies.
“Hawkes,” called out Prentiss as Hawkes searched the wooded area nearby the beach. “If there’s any bodies here they would have either been discovered or washed away...what makes you think there will be something here?”
“I just know it, Prentiss,” said Hawkes. “Olson was all about symbolism...everything meant something to him and this place meant something.”
“All I see is clear water, bush and an empty beach,” said Prentiss, walking around and holding up her arms in the air in frustration. Hawkes, however, kept digging but found nothing except an alligator causing her to scurry away quickly. Prentiss saw the alligator come after Hawkes and immediately pulled out her gun and shot it dead, having no other choice.
“Well, if you want a Gucci, there’s your chance,” cracked Prentiss. Hawkes laughed, though she felt bad for the dead alligator.
“I forgot I’m not in Cleveland anymore,” said Hawkes, brushing off the sand from her shoes.
“Okay Hawkes,” said Prentiss. “I’m ready to go to the Olson house...there’s nothing here.”
Hawkes sighed in agreement and walked with her, frustrated this hunch didn’t work out.
March 19, 2009, Sanibel Causeway Mainland Port, Fort Myers, Florida
“Okay, so we’re here...now what?” asked Morgan, getting out of their car with Rossi. Reid and Hawkes stayed inside the FBI vehicle, which was unmarked.
“Now...we wait,” said Rossi. The team was greeted with Lee County Police cars- unmarked- flanking the port, with Sanibel Police with a similar set up at the other end of the Causeway. Both departments were given pictures of Olson, and were told that upon sight, if they were to give chase they cannot make their presence obvious, lest Olson notice them and react violently.
“Morgan,” said Rossi to Morgan, “go across the Causeway to Sanibel and help with the arrest. The rest of us will stay here.” Morgan dutifully took a ride with a police car to the other end of the Causeway in anticipation of Olson’s arrival.
Inside the car, Reid and Hawkes started to bond a bit more.
“How do you know he isn’t in Sanibel already? It’s only a 26-hour drive from Wessex,” asked Reid.
“Eric is careful,” said Hawkes, “he wouldn’t just blindly drive, he’d stop a few times and make sure that he’d be rested. Besides, I think he went back home to Cleveland and picked up some stuff first.”
“Yes Ms. Hawkes?”
“Please, call me Zoe.”
“How did a young guy like you get to have such a badass job like this?”
“I remember I was finishing my PhD at Cal Tech, and my boss, Aaron Hotchner, approached me. He told me his colleague, Jason Gideon, recommended me for the team and that I should consider joining the FBI. I told them I wasn’t sure if I could pass all the field qualifications, since I’m just a stick, but Hotchner told me that I was a special talent and that he was willing to waive all those qualifications just to have me, and that I’d be on a team where I wouldn’t need to be gifted in the field to be successful. So I applied, and a year later I joined the Behaviour Analysis Unit.”
“How did Mr. Gideon find you?”
“He read my treatise on an interrogation technique I devised for my PhD. I didn’t have a name for it but he loved it.”
“The Reid Technique?”
“Yes, that’s the one.”
“I had to quote it for an essay I did for a class on police techniques...it was fascinating stuff. How’d you come up with it?”
“It was simple...I just used my understanding of psychology to come with mind tricks that interrogators can use to get criminals to confess...I know it’s maligned now, but I think that’s more police personnel misusing it than the technique being designed that way.”
“I admit, I’m one of the people who thinks the technique is manipulative.”
“I remember reading an article about an innocent man who confessed under the technique because the interrogator mistook his stressful tears as guilt, and made him think he killed his wife in a drunken blackout when, in fact, his alibi was solid.”
“See, that’s the fault of the interrogator. Although tears usually indicate guilt, you have to read the suspect and understand the situation...a lot of people like have things that are ‘cut and dry’ but the reality is far more complex...you can’t just say ‘oh he’s crying, therefore he’s guilty’. You have to remember context.”
“How would you have handled that situation?”
“I know the case you’re talking about...and I would have taken a break instead of pressing on. I would have also taken the man at his word that he doesn’t remember what happened, since having a drunken blackout means the suspect cannot reasonably expect to remember what he actually did...a real confession involves having the offender fill in details you didn’t know, and being able to accurately recall them. If you’d like, I’d teach to you sometime.”
“I’d love that. I really would love to pick your brains...you’re so smart, Dr. Reid.”
“Please, you can call me Spencer, we’re friends now.”
Hawkes smiled. “You know, Spencer, Agent Morgan was telling me you annoyed him one day talking about the Death Star...do you know how many times I’ve thought about that very thing myself?”
“That I annoyed Morgan?”
“No, the Death Star and its gigantic cost...I mean...why waste all that money on something that will hardly get used? A planet is pretty defenceless.”
“Well, the Galactic Empire would likely have so much money that $18 septillion would be a drop in the bucket for them, but you are right...why not make something that can do more than just shoot down a planet?”
“Not to mention you’d be wasting all those resources...it makes no sense to want to blow it all to smoke.”
“I should give you my card...I think we need to have a movie night or something.”
“Are you asking me out, Spencer?”
Reid grinned, realizing what he had done. “Maybe I am...I’ve just never met anyone that can keep up with me before...well, Morgan can but his attention span is as wide as a dime.”
Hawkes laughed before resting her head on Reid’s shoulder and snuggling up against him.
Present day, Sanibel Beach, Sanibel, Florida
“The message for Angel was carefully planned, whereas the message for Carl was constructed rather hastily,” said Morgan, examining the two messages with Reid, which were side by side.
“These are rather specific seashells too,” said Reid, examining the message for Angel. “They’re all shaded in some way...even the white ones are completely white, not just wiped of their colour.”
“So Angel gave colour to his life.”
“Not just that...I think Angel died of leukemia. The colours look like sanguine symbols and bones, indicative of a bone marrow condition.”
“Angel’s message was carefully crafted. She was likely discovered dead by Eric when he got down here, and he killed Carl in a fit of rage, hence why it was hastily crafted.”
“Morgan, look at this.”
A few yards away, Reid noticed a sandcastle with a pair of sandals left behind.
“That’s got to be something,” noted Morgan. “Is Hawkes done at the Olson house yet?”
“Let me call her,” said Reid, calling Hawkes. “She’s actually on her way...they found nothing.”
A few minutes later, Hawkes and Prentiss showed up at the scene. Hawkes gasped with immediate horror at the sight.
“Those...those,” said Hawkes, stammering. “Those are Lana Olson’s slippers...Eric’s much younger sister...he’s taken her...”
“What?” Morgan inquired, stumped. “How do you know?”
“He loved his sister...kept talking about her,” replied Hawkes. “Anyway, we can’t stand here and talk, we gotta find her...she doesn’t have that long left.”
“There’s no sign of a struggle here, Hawkes,” said Morgan. “She could already be dead.”
“No,” said Hawkes. “Something tipped him off...I’m not sure what but he was here mere moments before you guys arrived. Lana never forgets her slippers...she loves them...he had to have taken her in a flash.”
“Hawkes,” said Prentiss, exasperated at the thought of another wild goose chase. “You have to be right about this...we can’t just run around the island like this.”
“The lighthouse,” said Hawkes. “They’re at the lighthouse...he’s always there. He’s taken several pictures from it...I’ve been in a picture with him in it, when I visited the island more than ten years ago. Lana loved it too...they have multiple pictures, and she loved seeing the wildlife preserve there.”
Prentiss rolled her eyes, but Morgan didn’t miss a beat.
“Hawkes,” said Morgan intently, “let’s go.”
March 19, 2009, the Causeway, Fort Myers, Florida
A camera inside a patrol car up the road on Summerlin Boulevard caught Eric Olson as he was driving down to the Causeway. Rossi received the tip on the radio, and instructed the police to be ready for pursuit.
“Zoe,” said Reid, putting Hawkes’ head down. “Stay down. Eric is coming through the Causeway, we don’t want him to see you.” Hawkes didn’t even question Reid’s instructions, following them to the letter. Fortunately, Olson didn’t see their car and drove right through the Causeway, paying the toll and crossing to the bridge.
Upon learning of Olson’s impending arrival, Morgan gathered the Sanibel police, reminding them to be discreet. He observed the passing cars carefully and would be the first to turn on his sirens indicating the chase really was on.
Olson, however, wasn’t going to drive on to the island. As soon as he got off the Causeway, he parked his car on the adjacent beach, causing Morgan to jump out of his car.
“Eric Olson! Derek Morgan! FBI!” he hollered to Olson, who began to run.
“Oh no you don’t,” said Morgan, in hot pursuit. Olson, not gifted as a runner, had a tough time of it trudging through the sand whereas Morgan, a decorated high school athlete and experienced in sand, had an easy time of it, allowing Morgan to tackle Olson and arrest him before Olson could escape into the nearby bush.
“Eric Olson,” said Morgan fiercely. “You are under arrest for the kidnapping of Zoe Hawkes.” Olson tried to get up but Morgan held him tightly to the ground, as the rest of the police surrounded him making sure he could not escape as Morgan completed the arrest.
Present day, the lighthouse, Sanibel, Florida
“Eric,” said Lana Olson, gripped with fear wondering what was going on. Eric was tying her up against the dumpster located to the right of the lighthouse. He’d already thrown his parents in the dumpster, and remembered at the last moment he had to get Lana in there too before the dumpster was emptied, as it was once a week. After he killed her, he would shoot himself, leaving the garbage collector to find them all dead.
“Don’t ask questions Lana,” said Eric. “I have to do this, there’s nothing left.”
“...but why, Eric, why?”
Eric responded by punching her. Lana began to cry. He wished he didn’t have to do it this way, but Eric felt he now had nothing left to live for. He found his mother already dead at the hands of his father, so he killed his father the way he always planned to- just like Charles Manson did, with stabbings and a pillowcase tied over his head.
Moments later, Hawkes and Morgan arrived at the lighthouse. Hawkes raced out of the car first, and ran past the bathrooms. Since it was a blind corner, she didn’t see Eric Olson, who jumped her.
Hawkes, however, wasn’t rattled, using her leg to flip Olson up above her and onto the ground near her. She had her gun out right when Olson was able to look up and realize what happened.
“You forgot I’m not a scared little girl anymore,” said Hawkes. “Don’t try anything stupid- I will shoot you.”
“Zoe...” said Olson, “I love you...why would do that to me?”
“Oh yeah? Well you had a poor way of showing it.”
“Come on Zoe...that night in Wessex...that wasn’t me...”
Hawkes gave him an incredulous look. “Really? Maybe you should tell me who it was, because it sure looked a lot like you.”
“I was going to tell you eventually...I just...I just didn’t know how.”
“...and then you were going to kill me too, if not then it would have been now, where Lana is right now.”
“No...you don’t understand...we would have been together...we could have been Bonnie and Clyde...we could have triumphed over my oppressive dad and waged a real war on this vengeful society.” Olson started to think that maybe if Hawkes came back to him that maybe his life could be worth it again. Hawkes wasn’t buying it.
“You make no sense Eric...besides, don’t you know robbing banks ain’t my style anyway?”
Morgan then arrived at the scene, and, having seen that Hawkes had everything under control, directed his attention toward Olson. “Don’t do anything stupid Eric!” he hollered, drawing his gun as well.
Olson, recognizing his earlier foe, decided enough was enough. He fumbled around his pants for a bit before drawing his own gun and aiming it at Morgan, forcing Hawkes to shoot him dead. She fired at him several times, each shot a therapeutic one for all the pain Olson put her through, her rage coming out with every bullet. She emptied her cartridge right there, with Olson dying instantly.
She then sank to her knees, sobbing uncontrollably. Morgan untied Lana Olson before tending to Hawkes, with Lana also suspecting something was wrong.
“Hawkes,” said Morgan. “What’s wrong?”
“That,” said Hawkes, still crying. “How could I? How can I be such a killer?”
“It’s justifiable,” said Morgan. “He was drawing his weapon to shoot at me...I was in danger so you had to protect me.”
“No Morgan, I know that,” said Hawkes. “I’ve just...I’ve just never done that before...I know it was justified...but still...he was a human life and I just so coldly took it away from him...”
“Hawkes,” said Morgan. “I remember the first time I shot someone...it was a gangbanger in the south side of Chicago, my first beat on the police force, let alone my first day. He pulled his gun at me and I had no choice but to fill him with lead. I too, wondered just what I had become, before my partner told me that if we didn’t kill for the greater good, then those who kill for no good will go unpunished. Some guys won’t quit until they die...there’s no way around it. I wish it didn’t have to happen that way but sometimes we don’t have a choice. I know, you’ve never done that before and it’s a shock, but remember...at the end of the day you did this for the greater good, and now a serial killer won’t hurt anyone else.”
Instinctively, Lana came to Hawkes and gave her a big hug. It was that moment where Hawkes realized the true impact of what she’d done, by killing Eric to save his sister, who would be dead if it wasn’t for her.
“Thank you so much kiddo,” said Hawkes, holding Lana tightly and kissing the top of her head. “Do you want to go to Jerry’s and get a sundae?” Lana nodded yes excitedly.
“I think we could all use a sundae,” said Morgan, smiling at what he was seeing.
“Jerry’s has some pretty good food too,” said Hawkes. “It’s a supermarket and a quaint restaurant all in one. We should all go...and it’s got Wi-Fi so Rossi can update his Twitter account.”
At Jerry’s, the team gathered for a celebratory meal after sending Lana off to live with her grandparents. They were all expected to fly out that night, but Hotchner had other plans.
“Seeing how it’s going to be lovely here and how trying this case has been for some us,” said Hotchner to the team, “I’ve decided we’ll fly out in three days. You guys deserve a weekend getaway.” The team greeted the news with loud cheers of excitement.
“Hotch,” said Hawkes. “I know I can be difficult...but thanks for having patience with me.”
“Hawkes,” said Hotchner, “you don’t need to apologize. You did a great job today.”
“Kiddo,” said Rossi. “One of these days you’ll understand your full potential and stop second guessing yourself.”
“I understand you had your first kill today,” said Reid.
“Reid!” said Morgan, admonishing his lack of tact.
“It’s okay Morgan,” said Hawkes. “I’ve come to terms with it...seeing Lana made me feel better about it and made me realize why I do what I do.”
“Zoe,” said Rossi, “as long as you remember days like today then everything becomes easier. We see so much loss and despair, it’s days like this where we save someone that reminds us why this job is worth it. This can be such a thankless job sometimes, and we all know it can be hard going through the cases and seeing the depths of human depravity...but we get through it knowing that, at the end of the day, we’re still saving the greater good. Don’t ever forget that.”
“Sanibel Police was telling me they’re glad this is all finished,” said Hotchner. “They’re used to helping seniors with Alzheimer’s get home, not dealing with a serial killer.”
“I’m glad this is finished too,” said Hawkes, “and now I don’t have to worry about Eric anymore. I wish I didn’t have to kill him but I had to do it.”
“Foyet’s dead,” said Morgan. “Flynn is dead. Hankel is dead. Doyle is dead. Battle is dead. Even Gacy is dead; and now yours. Says something about the people who challenge FBI agents...they literally won’t quit until the very end.”
The next day, at their hotel, Hawkes greeted Reid in nothing but a bikini top and short shorts, ready to hit the beach.
“Hey Spencer,” said Hawkes.
“Hey Zoe,” said Reid. “I was thinking since we need to have a movie night that we can do it right now.”
“Oh no mister,” replied Hawkes, grabbing Reid by the hand. “Grab your trunks, we’re going to the beach. It’s too hot not go...it’s 86 and gorgeous, Spencer. Besides, you get to stare at me all you want.”
Reid laughed and agreed at the prospect, deciding against worrying about the sunburns he thought he was going to get. He quickly changed into swimming trunks and put on his sandals.
“...and then, Spencer, after we discuss the finer points of the Death Star, maybe you can show me how your Light Saber works.”
Reid grinned. “I think I’d like that.” They both departed for the beach.
Upon arrival, they greeted the rest of the team already basking in the sun and cracking jokes at Rossi’s expense.
“I think you guys are just jealous about my legs,” said Rossi, wearing nothing but a speedo. “One of these days, you’ll be man enough to wear something like this.”
“Sure Dave,” said Hotchner with a laugh, “I admire your bravery on the field, but I don’t think that’s the kind of bravery I want to emulate.”
“I think I can see his butt hanging out from the side of the swimsuit,” said Prentiss. Morgan responded with some catcall-type whistling. The team then had a good laugh, and went about having an enjoyable few days at the beach.
Episode 5: The Chessmaster (Episode Start Date: January 21, 2016)
Jessica Davies Park, Alexandria, Virginia
Jason Gideon had done this many times, but each time still felt like the first time. Standing before him in the thick of the Virginia snow was a phone booth, a place where he could escape the foreboding, harrowing winds. Though he’d never met her face to face, he was about to call the one person who gave him warmth, and the one person who made him feel like his life was worth living after all.
He stepped inside the booth and dialed the woman’s phone number, as he’d always done. He then hung up the phone and waited for it to ring. After a few moments, the phone did ring and, forgetting his calculated older self, Gideon raced into the booth like an eager teenager and picked up the phone.
“Maeve,” he said, warmly. “Even though we’ve been doing this for months I’m always afraid you won’t pick up.”
“Jason,” replied Maeve Donovan, a geneticist at Mendel University in Washington. Donovan, 50, was a divorcee like Gideon was, though she looked a lot younger. “You never have to worry about that. I look forward to our talks every week.”
“So how are you today? Did you get a chance to try my clam chowder recipe?”
“The selections are kind of slim where I am, so I didn’t have much to work with...but I did get to try something like it...you, sir, are quite the cook.”
“Thank you. One day, once this whole thing passes, I would love to show it to you.”
“I like that, and I’d like to see what else you can show me.”
Gideon laughed as he cried, knowing it’d been too long since he felt the touch of a woman who loved him. Oh Sarah, why did you have to go? If only I wasn’t late that night...Gideon stopped himself, realizing he had a new woman, one who cared for him just like Sarah Jacobs did. He had a good feeling about Donovan, even though they had only been talking on the phone for only a year. He longed for the day that her stalker would disappear, so that they could finally be together, but he was afraid that if he called his former employers at the Behavioural Analysis Unit they would laugh him out of the office. How intimidating that thought was...yes, he has an apartment with the famous Dr. Spencer Reid, his essentially adoptive son, but he hadn’t spoken to the rest of the team in years, and was worried that they would still be upset with him for abandoning them before the case of Joe Smith in Milwaukee. He wanted to help out Donovan, but he wasn’t sure how.
“Well, Jason, I must go now...it’s almost time for me to cook dinner. Goodbye my love.”
“Goodbye, angel.” Gideon hung up the phone, knowing he’d have to wait until next week to speak to his love, but if that’s what he had to do to continue feeling the warmth only Donovan could give him.
Sheila Hawkes’ house, Cleveland, Ohio
“I’m glad you’ve finally decided to come, Spencer,” said Sheila Hawkes, the mother of fellow BAU member Zoe Hawkes.
“It’s a pleasure,” said Reid, wiping his mouth with his napkin. Sheila, Zoe, her younger sister Audrey and Reid were all sitting for a Sunday dinner. Tonight was Sheila’s special bratwurst recipe. “The bratwurst is nothing but delectable...I just love all the spices you’ve used.”
“I learn from the best,” said Zoe, smiling.
“K-I-S,” started Audrey, referring to Zoe and Reid, before her mother told her to stop.
“I’m sorry Spencer...Audrey’s always been a troublemaker,” said Sheila.
Reid laughed. “It’s okay,” he said. “I understand Zoe picked up Criminology because of Audrey.”
“Audrey had a way of sneaking around and pinning the blame on Zoe,” remembered Sheila. “I remember once Audrey used Zoe’s window to sneak out to meet a boyfriend despite being grounded...I confronted Zoe about it thinking she helped him, but Zoe led me throughout the house to conclusively prove it was Audrey all along. After that, Audrey never snuck out of the house again, because we were on to her.”
“Zoe never let me have any fun,” said Audrey, sarcastically snickering.
“Come on,” said Zoe with a smile. “I let you have fun...I just didn’t like you doing it at my expense.”
“The teenage years were fun,” said Sheila, “but eventually they learned to mend their fences. We’re all so close as a family...we had to after our father died.”
Zoe and Reid both nervously smiled. Zoe never believed their father, Bruno, was dead, and Reid knew that the story of Bruno’s death, written after he helped arrest and convict Bruno for being a mole in the Central Intelligence Agency, was likely fabricated to cover up for Bruno’s new identity, wherever he was.
When they were finished dinner, they gathered in the family room. Tonight was science fiction night, done mostly for Reid but the whole family thoroughly enjoyed the genre. Zoe talked the family into a Star Wars marathon, harkening back to the debate Reid and Zoe had about the Death Star when the two of them met. Audrey, too, had wondered about the worth of the Death Star, but Sheila, who knew about the Star’s symbolism having lived through the Cold War, reminded them about that analogy, and how she remembered thinking the Galactic Empire were just like the Soviets that scared her back in the 1970s.
When the marathon was done, Reid grabbed his coat, thinking he was going back home with Zoe that night. Sheila stopped him.
“Spencer...it’s okay,” said Sheila. “You can stay. It’s a long drive.”
“My boss doesn’t like it if we’re late,” said Reid.
“Spencer,” said Zoe. “I’ve booked tomorrow off too...Hotch knows we’re here...it’s okay. We can leave in the morning.”
“Okay,” said Reid, putting down his coat. “Where am I going to sleep?”
“You can stay with Zoe,” replied Sheila. “I’m no prude, and you two are adults.”
Reid smiled, and accompanied Zoe up the stairs to her room.
FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Thanks Alex,” said Rossi, receiving a file from Alex Blake, a member of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Unit.
“You’re welcome, Agent Rossi,” replied Blake, an older woman who was the CTU’s Linguistics Expert. “I didn’t think a University case could be this complex.”
“Calgary’s no ordinary town,” replied Rossi, “and I don’t think these are your ordinary terrorists.”
“Their messages are very strange. I think they’re taking aim at the oil industry, but I’ll need to look at them a bit deeper before I’m sure.”
“Keep up your surveillance efforts...let me know if anything happens.”
“Will do.” Blake then left the office, only for Rossi’s boss, Aaron “Hotch” Hotchner, to walk in.
“I guess the Calgary case is getting stranger every minute,” said Hotchner, closing the door.
“I never thought at a case at a University classroom could evolve into terrorism,” said Rossi, “well, I guess there’s a first time for everything.”
“A day after coming back home from Sanibel and your speedo and you’re already back at work.”
“You’re just jealous about my legs.”
Hotchner laughed dryly, as was his style.
“How’s your case coming along?”
“I just handed San Diego police a profile...I was told they apprehended the guy last night.”
“It was just a matter of getting them to look in the right place...they kept looking at the border but the robber behaved differently.”
“I love it when the cases are that easy...I only wish our cases were like that.”
“I think I’ll leave you to your work. If you need anything Dave, you know where to find me.”
Rossi smiled. “Will do, Aaron.”
One week later, Jessica Davies Park, Alexandria, Virginia
Gideon stared at the phone booth, nervous. No matter how many times he went through the routine of calling Donovan fear gripped his soul, making every move treacherous. What if she’s gone too? The love of my life...I can’t handle another loss...maybe I should just end it, knowing that the pain would be worse if I continued it...no, Jason...she needs you as much as you need her...if you felt empty before her then you’ll only be emptier if you leave her now, and you might never get her back...but what use is joy if it will always be taken away from you? Gideon shook his head, mouthing “no, no, no”.
Then he got lost in his thoughts. All he could think about was taking Donovan back to the cabin...dancing with the orchestral styling of Beethoven and Bach, relaxing on the porch under the crisp Carolinian air, and watching the birds as they moved into their nests. Yes, Donovan was the fairest bird of them all, a free spirit, one that reminded him that life can be vibrant and happy. Ah, yes, happiness...the one thing Donovan made him feel. The one thing that had eluded him for so long...and the one thing that keeps her in his life.
He went through the routine again. He slotted the coins so carefully into the phone booth. He dialed her number. He waited...and waited...a bit longer than usual it seemed but still, he was patient. When the phone rang he darted for it, his joy running through him like a burst of energy. What he heard made his face drop.
“Hello Jason,” said a robotic voice at the other end of the line.
“Who...who are you?” said a nervous Gideon, scared for Donovan.
“Who I am does not matter,” replied the voice.
“What have you done with her?” Gideon began to sob, though he tried valiantly to fight through it.
“You love her, don’t you?”
“Please...please don’t hurt her...just let her go...I’ll do anything for you.”
“Why didn't you help her, Jason? Why? What kind of a boyfriend do you think you are?”
“I don’t understand...” Gideon didn’t even hide his tears anymore, beginning to visibly cry in the phone booth.
“I’ll tell you what this means Jason- Zugzwang. Zugzwang Jason. You can make the next move, but you know you’ll only lose in the end.” The caller ended the phone call right there, with Gideon responding by collapsing to his knees in the phone booth, gripped with sadness and tears over what could possibly happen to his new girlfriend.
After regaining his composure, he drove into Washington, to a small diner in the outskirts of town he remembered going to as a kid, the one place where he always felt welcome. He sat there, thinking, wondering where all the innocence had gone in his life. He thought back to his youth. There was his mother, a Broadway starlet who used men, like his father, only when they suited her, and discarded them like trash. His father crept into his thoughts...his father loved him, and tried to raise him as a single father but it was hard. He spent a lot of his nights here, in the diner, where a beautiful waitress named Kelly always served him a fudge sundae, free of charge, because she had a son herself and knew how hard it was for little Gideon to be alone, waiting for his parents. Gideon remembered sitting in the diner for hours, sometimes past midnight, until his father could arrive to pick him up from work and drive him home. He and his father spent what little time together as they could, and even went to the diner to celebrate Gideon’s acceptance into the FBI.
Then he remembered that one day when his father didn’t come, on a summer day in 1985, because he’d died of a heart attack on his way to see him. The day the sadness started. July 16, 1985. He remembered feeling the torrent of emotions that grip him daily for the first time, trying to wrestle with the fact that the only person who really cared for him was gone. Even though he was an adult then and was better able to cope with it, the knowledge that the only person who truly gave him security would no longer be there to help had a crippling effect. As he dove into his midnight meal, he was overcome by the memory of when his isolation started, because now he was an island, a person held too aloof to for anyone to understand. That’s why he became fond of Reid, because there was another man, also held to be aloof, grappling with the same sense of isolation that he felt. However, in looking up to his father he was always afraid that he could never live up to expectations, and always panicked at the first sign of trouble. That’s why his first wife left him along with Steven, because he was too afraid to love them properly; and Reid...as much as he wanted to love him like a son he was too afraid that he too would find him inadequate.
Still, on this lonely winter day Reid was the only one he could talk to, even if he didn’t think Reid truly understood him. He nervously picked up his cell phone and called the Agent, even if it was late.
“Jason,” said Reid, groggy at being woken up so late at night.
“I’m sorry for doing this to you, Doctor,” said Gideon, apologetic.
“Is everything okay? Where are you? I’ll come find you.”
“No, no, it’s okay. Stay where you are...I’m not sure there’s much you can do for me anyway.”
“It must be pretty serious if you called me Doctor.”
“They took her Spencer, they took her.”
“Jason...back up a minute...who’s ‘they’...and who’s ‘her’...you’re not making any sense.”
“A year ago I find this wonderful woman, Maeve Donovan, working some brilliant experiments on psychological genetics for Mendel University. I was writing a paper on it for Georgetown University so I thought I’d E-Mail her for some thoughts. One thing led to another and we were exchanging E-Mails, on personal time. Then, one day, about ten months ago, she wrote to me telling me she was leaving for some undisclosed location and that I could only call her through a pay phone, and once a week. We’ve been doing that ever since, but today...I called her only to find another voice answering the phone...I figured if she fled she was in trouble but I never knew who was targeting her...I don’t know what to do now. I need help finding her and you’re the only one who can help me...please Spencer, help me...she’s the first one to give me solace in my life since my father.”
“E-Mail me everything...every message you’ve written to her, every note you’ve ever written about her. I’ll get Garcia to look into her file at Mendel and see if there’s any possible suspects and dig into her personal life and see what else we can find. Can you come tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow afternoon I’ll visit the Bureau.”
“Good. We’ll talk more then.”
“Have a good night.”
The next day, Quantico Train Station, Quantico, Virginia
As Reid entered teammate Derek Morgan’s car to get a ride to the Bureau office, Morgan noticed he was rubbing his eyes this morning more often than usual. He didn’t think anything was wrong though.
“Looks like somebody had quite the night,” teased Morgan, flashing a full grin at Reid. “So, did Hawkes try a new move last night?”
“Zoe and I are just friends,” said Reid, still groggy.
“Yeah, friends that sleep together and have Sunday meals at the parents’ house.”
“Nothing happened there…we just slept in the same bed…we’re really close. Like you and Garcia.”
“Garcia and I haven’t been in the same bed.”
“I don’t know…she’s like a teddy bear…she likes to snuggle. So do I.”
“Do you think you’re finally coming around to the fact that Zoe just may be the girl for you?”
“I realized she is more naturally caring than I thought she was…I guess because I saw her as a geek like myself she wasn’t the nurturing type, but she really is. Maybe I just like where we are and don’t want to wreck what we have.”
“Just enjoy the ride kid.”
“Gideon called me last night.”
“Gideon? The Gideon? The one that abandoned us in Milwaukee?”
“Yeah…that one…I’m meeting with him today.”
“Unless he’s come with an apology I want nothing to do with him.”
“Let’s just see what he has to say first…it could just be me working on the case. It seems pretty straightforward.”
“It’s Gideon. When is it ever straightforward?”
“He says he’s been talking to a Maeve Donovan for the past year or so, at first through E-Mail and then through a bizarre system where he calls a landline from a payphone and she calls that payphone back.”
“A payphone? Well, this is Gideon we’re talking about.”
“It’s a pretty interesting countermeasure. Calling from the payphone means that the caller is untraceable…as long as the landline is a fresh one and communication is solely between those two points, neither person could get detected.”
“Maeve did get detected though...either she slipped or, more likely, our stalker is that good...most are quite ‘professional’ about their craft.”
“I’m going to get Garcia to trace the phone...that will give us a start.”
“Won’t be much of one...Maeve could be anywhere now.”
“We gotta start somewhere.”
Aaron Hotchner’s Office, FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
Hotchner was focused. His mountain of paperwork never seemed to end, and most of the time all he needed to do was write a profile and affix his signature. He often wondered why so many police departments called him for help- many times, the investigations are obvious, and all their requests just left him with busywork. He sighed, then took a break and looked at a picture.
Yes...Jack. He smiled. He loved his ten year old son more than anything else in the world. How he wished his mother wasn’t so cruelly taken from him by George Foyet, but, as he grappled with so many times, there was not much he could do about that. At least, now, he has a new love, now that Kate Joyner- who just barely survived the Blood Army attack in New York- was in his life. He wished he didn’t take so long to ask her out, but at least luck was working with him for a change.
His phone began to ring. Oh, please...what now? What stupid police officer needs my help now? As much as he dreaded picking up the phone, it was his duty to do so.
“Aaron Hotcher, Behavioural Analysis Unit Chief, speaking,” said Hotchner.
“Hotch,” said Gideon, at the other end of the line.
“I wished we could have reunited under better circumstances, but there’s not much I can do.”
“Jason, as far as I’m concerned what happened was water under the bridge...I was lucky to get two quality years of service from you after the bombing.”
“How is Jack?”
“Jack’s doing fine...his hockey team just won the municipal championship...next up is regionals. How are you doing?”
“I’m not doing too good...I was hoping I could come in and talk to you about it...I haven’t been able to sleep a wink since it happened.”
“Since it happened? Since what happened?”
“Please, Hotch...I’d rather tell you in private...not here, at the reception desk.”
“All right. I’ll tell reception to give you a visitor’s pass.”
Hotchner hung up the phone. Rossi walked in to his office.
“You always seem to know when to come, don’t you?” joked Hotchner, dryly.
“You’re an old friend, Aaron. I just have that instinct,” said Rossi with a smile. “So, is it true?”
“Is what true?”
“Gideon is coming in?”
“How’d you know?”
“Well, when I walked in this morning I saw him, furiously pacing outside of the building...I figured something was up.”
“Jason...he’s always like that...always second guessing himself...‘do I?’ or ‘do I not?’ Nothing’s ever straightforward to him...you should see him ordering at restaurants.”
“Usually we spend twenty minutes waiting for the food...we can spend an hour waiting for him to make up his mind.”
“Hawkes is a lot like him.”
“That’s why we’ve got to nurture her and make her understand that she is doing a good job...so she doesn’t end up like him.”
“I do think Hawkes has a better head on her shoulders though, but you’re right...we need to show her that we care about her because we know what happened to Gideon...he’s a neurotic mess because he never believed anyone ever truly cared about him.”
Outside, Gideon could be seen exiting the elevator that brought him to the BAU floor space. BAU member Emily Prentiss was the first to see him.
“Jason?” she asked, cautiously.
Gideon didn’t even bother looking at her, believing she was the one who ultimately cost him his job at the BAU. He walked away, looking nervously at Hotchner’s office.
Hotchner, however, heard Prentiss and stepped out on to the floor immediately. He walked with purpose to Gideon and gave him a hearty handshake. Gideon responded by taking his other hand and placing it on Hotchner’s back, drawing the two of them closer together, a move Hotchner reciprocated. Gideon began to sob.
“It’s good to see you, my friend,” said Gideon.
“It’s good to see you too,” replied Hotchner, with a smile. Rossi simply looked on.
“You still have Prentiss here? I thought she was trying to get rid of you.”
“Yes, Prentiss was brought in to be Erin Strauss’ mole, but she turned the tables and blew the whistle on her...we have a new director, his name is Lucius Black. He’s...he’s actually pretty cool so far, certainly easier to work with than Strauss ever was.”
Gideon then turned around and walked towards Prentiss.
“I’m so sorry Emily,” said Gideon, purposely clasping his hands forward. “Hotch told me you saved his job, and probably could have saved mine.”
“No hard feelings,” said Prentiss, who gave Gideon a hug. Gideon seemed to hold on a bit longer than she was used to, but she let it go.
Moments later, Technical Analyst Penelope Garcia and media liaison Jennifer “JJ” Jareau walked out and greeted their one-time co-worker.
“Penelope,” said Gideon, embracing Garcia. “You precious dove...are you still using that MP3 player I got you?”
“Every day,” replied Garcia. “I’m amazed it’s lasted so long.”
“You sweet angel,” replied Gideon with a warm smile. “I know I had a bad way of showing it, but your vibrancy gave me the energy to continue on.”
“Glad I could help,” said Garcia, smiling. “Good to see you, Jason.”
“JJ!” said Gideon, turning his attention to Jareau.
“No hug from me,” snapped Jareau.
“I understand...you’re bitter I left you in Milwaukee. I know there’s no words to tell you how sorry I am about all that...I’d tell you that I’ve changed and that I’m in a better place now...but I can’t change how you feel.”
“Maybe you should have thought about that before you walked in here. What, did you think I was just going to jump right into your arms? You make me sick.”
“I wasn’t expecting anything...I just hope one day you’ll forgive me.”
“Keep dreaming pal.”
“Keep dreaming pal.”
“I’m sorry about JJ,” said Rossi, “she’s got issues at home.”
“It happens,” said Gideon. “I didn’t take it personally.”
Around the corner came Hawkes, who was visibly agitated.
“For the last time, Anderson, I’m not giving you my phone number!” said Hawkes, angry at Brian Anderson, the office’s “designated photocopier”.
“I just needed your help on some files to put away,” replied Anderson, sheepishly.
“Ask Reid! Leave me alone!”
Anderson took it as his cue to leave, scratching the back of his hanging head as he walked away.
“Men...” Hawkes shook her head, before noticing Gideon.
“So you’re Agent Gideon? I’m Agent Hawkes” said Hawkes, with a smile.
“Yes I am,” replied Gideon, extending his hand to shake. Hawkes had a better idea.
Hawkes decided to give Gideon a hug, a long, warm one. She held him like he was her dad, and Gideon responded by holding her as if she was his daughter. Gideon’s emotions got the better of him, crying uncontrollably on Hawkes’ shoulder. They embraced for what seemed like an eternity, with years of sadness oozing out of Gideon in that very moment.
“How’d you know?” said Gideon, still holding Hawkes but coming face to face with her.
“I can just tell,” said Hawkes, “that no one has really given you a hug in a really long time.”
Gideon laughed. “Well, I had a few this morning but I know what you mean.”
“Spencer has told me a lot about you...and I felt so bad for you. I decided to give you a hug the first time I saw you...and here I am. If you ever need anything...please...don’t hesitate.”
“I won’t.” Gideon kissed the top of her forehead before the two of them parted.
“She is a delicate little flower,” said Gideon, fondly. “Take good care of her, she’s special.”
“Don’t we know it,” said Rossi with a smile.
Entering the elevator was Reid and Morgan. Reid gave Gideon one of his trademark smiles, but Morgan stood, staring at him coldly.
“Derek,” started Gideon.
“Agent Morgan,” scolded Morgan. “Don’t you ‘Derek’ me.”
“Agent Morgan, I’m sorry. I guess you’re still upset at me.”
“Listen...if it’ll help, you can punch me as hard as you can in my stomach...I know it won’t do much, but if it helps take out some of your anger towards me, then by all means.”
Morgan wasn’t going to take that invitation lightly. As soon as Gideon said it and opened up his stomach for attack, he readied his fist before Hotchner intervened.
“Morgan, please!” said Hotchner. “Not in the office, at least.”
“We’re not done,” said Morgan, passing by Gideon and holding his finger towards him.
“Morgan!” snapped Hotchner. “A word.” The two walked into Hotchner’s office and closed the door.
“I’m not working with that guy again!” said Morgan. “Whatever case he’s come here with, I’m out of it.”
“Morgan,” said Hotchner. “I know you’re upset at what happened in Milwaukee...but that was five and a half years ago. We just need to work with him on business...I need to know you can handle that. Otherwise, you can just walk out the door and come back next week.”
“Hotch? Seriously? I’m not letting you bully me into working with the guy.”
“Then I guess we shouldn’t have helped clear your name in front of Stan Gordinski.”
“Don’t go there Hotch! I am this close to quitting.”
Hotchner took a deep breath, realizing he chose the wrong words. “I’m sorry...I don’t mean to make this personal because this isn’t personal...promise me you’ll at least listen to what Jason has to say...you may not need to work with him, and if you do...please just look at this as any other case. We’ve worked with some jerk detectives before, but our sense of justice prevailed, and at least Jason is trying to be conciliatory. Please, can I count on you to at least be civil?”
“Okay Hotch.” Morgan agreed his duty to justice was more important than his ego, and thought that if Hotchner was giving Gideon a second chance, maybe he should too.
“Okay Hotch.” Morgan agreed his duty to justice was more important than his ego, and thought that if Hotchner was giving Gideon a second chance, maybe he should too.
As they stepped out of the office, Morgan called Gideon over.
“I’m sorry about earlier,” said Morgan, shaking Gideon’s hand. “We still got a lot to work through...but I see that you’re trying, so maybe I should too.”
Jareau also approached Gideon, having been talked to by Rossi. “I’m sorry too,” she said. “My home life isn’t what I thought it would be after the wedding bells, and you are trying to make things right, so maybe I should too.” The two of them also just shook hands.
“JJ, Morgan,” started Gideon, leaning against the railing leading to the superiors’ offices. “I don’t expect to regain your friendship overnight...I just hope we can work together for at least this one case and then afterward we can see where we go from here.”
“Understood,” said Jareau, with Morgan nodding in agreement. “I’ll get the war room ready.”
After a few minutes, Jareau invited the team into the war room, where Gideon led the discussion.
“Okay,” started Gideon, still somewhat nervous but regaining his composure now that he had gotten the pleasantries out of the way. “This,” he said, as a picture of Donovan appeared on the screen, “is Maeve Donovan. She’s 50 and a divorcee like I am. She’s a geneticist at Mendel University right here in Washington. A little over a year ago, while I was away in my chateau in France, I was writing a paper on the genetics of psychopathic behaviour when I decided to E-Mail her for help. We traded a few E-Mails, which got more personal with each subsequent message. I fell in love...and I think she did too. We were about ready to meet when, one day, she told me she had to flee. She didn’t tell me why, though, but it involved having to move to an undisclosed location. She gave me a phone number and instructed me to only call her from a phone booth. I was supposed to vary my locations, but there’s only one phone booth in the entire Washington area, in Jessica Davies Park in Alexandria, that allows someone to call it back, so I kept calling from that phone. I figured that she has a stalker after her which is why she wanted to escape detection, and, for ten months, it seemed to work.
“Then, yesterday, everything changed. I didn’t hear her voice at the other end of the line. I heard a voice, which was being masked. He wouldn’t tell me who he was or what he was going to do with her, or even where he was going...I just know, he caught her. He referred to me by name, I didn’t offer it, and ended the conversation by saying ‘zugzwang Jason.’ That’s where I’m at right now.”
“Zugzwang,” said Reid. “That’s the term in chess for the moment where a player is forced to make a move due to the rules of chess even when there isn’t a move that puts him in any kind of advantageous position.”
“So this is a game,” said Hawkes, “and apparently the stalker thinks they’re going to win.”
“The E-Mails vary between descriptive and vague, as if she’s trying to hide something…possibly because of the stalker,” noted Prentiss. “So there’s not much there. Have you met Ms. Donovan?”
“No I haven’t,” replied Gideon, hunched over the table. “I’ve been to Mendel University before, many times, though, so there could be a mutual contact that knows us both, but it’d be tough to narrow down.”
“What else do you remember about the message?” asked Prentiss.
“I’m not sure…it’s all been a haze,” said Gideon, “but I think I recall something where the stalker asked why I couldn’t help her out…I really don’t understand what that means.”
“When, during the call, did the voice recognize you as Gideon?” asked Morgan.
“He didn’t even wait for me,” replied Gideon. “Right before I opened my mouth he said ‘Hello Jason’. So he must know about our relationship.”
“This stalker has done his homework,” said Morgan, “just like I thought.”
“The phone number,” pondered Rossi, “have you traced it?”
“It’s a completely made up area code,” said Garcia, “and it’s unlisted. So she’s paying extra for that. Her credit card activity has also ended, as well as her bank activity...she’s just receiving straight cash.”
“She probably has a courier then,” said Hotchner, “who receives her cheques in cash and takes a cut for himself.”
“I don’t think she’d hire just about anyone for that job,” said Hawkes. “That’s an awful amount of trust you’re leaving in a courier, not to reveal her location- and to handle her money.”
“So we’ve likely got a murder on our hands too,” said Rossi. “The stalker likely got the information on Donovan through the courier- no chance he’s going to let the courier live and potentially spill the beans.”
“Couldn’t the stalker just hire a private investigator to find all this out?” asked Morgan. “It’d be pretty easy to tail a courier.”
“What if she does her work on a computer and leaves with the courier on a flash drive?” replied Hawkes. “The courier could just go to the library and E-Mail her superiors, maybe even with her own E-Mail address- that way she can continue doing her work without having to go anywhere near campus; and, of course, if the courier only shops for her locally and varies their shopping routines it adds another layer of protection.”
“You are a smart one, pumpkin,” said Garcia, looking up her files. “She did, in fact, E-Mail her work from library computers- in fact, a different one each time. She’s crazy good.”
“She also has a wide net of people she could talk to, being a teacher,” noted Reid. “That’s an awful lot of people to investigate, and no one is compelled to talk to a P.I. The courier himself probably won’t tell anyone they’re connected to Maeve at all.”
“Did Maeve ever tell you why she never went to the police about her stalker?” asked Hotchner to Gideon.
“I don’t think she did,” said Gideon. “I think she believed the stalker would just ‘go away’ if she paid him no attention. The last few times we talked she was much more alive and free, so she must have felt that he had left.”
“Lulled her into a false sense of security,” said Prentiss.
“She stayed cautious though, from what I can tell,” said Gideon. “She promised me that when her ‘issues’ were resolved that we’d meet, and not once did she suggest doing so.”
“She probably did let her guard down a bit,” said Hawkes. “The longer that someone feels that they’re ‘safe’ the more likely they are to take risks...because each passing moment is an indicator that their troubles may actually be over.”
“What we need to do is find out who she would really trust,” said Hotchner. “We profile her, find out who could have been murdered and profile the murderer. Once we do that, we’ll find where Donovan is. Morgan and Reid, I want you guys to visit Mendel University and find out about her professional life. Prentiss and Hawkes, I want you guys to interview her family and see what you can find on her personal life. Rossi and I will look over missing person and unsolved murder reports and see if anything fits the profile. Gideon, you can join Rossi and I. Let’s get to work.”
Mendel University, Washington
“Professor Dalhousie will be with you in a minute,” said the receptionist, Donna Winters. She was a young, petit woman with black curly hair, with a perky smile that drew people in. Reid was struck by her, and concluded she did her job really well.
“Thanks Ms. Winters,” said Morgan, who then left to take a seat next to Reid.
“You like her, don’t you?” said Morgan quietly, with a smile.
“She looks nice,” said Reid, “but I like Zoe.”
“You’re drawn to her though.”
“She does a great job. She’s very likeable. I’m thinking she should work in Quantico…the receptionists we have can be very haphazard.”
“I think ‘haphazard’ is kind, kid.”
“You guys must be Agents Morgan and Dr. Reid,” said Professor Philip Dalhousie. “Glad to meet you both. Dr. Reid, I’m particularly enthralled by your epileptic theory of sadism…it’s riveting stuff.”
“Epileptic theory?” asked Morgan, intrigued.
“Basically I’m postulating that everyone has a certain amount of predisposition to violence,” said Reid. “Like epilepsy, we all have a ‘chance’ to get it, but some of us have better chances than others; and I believe the chance to become a violent offender is affected by events in the person’s life, with some people needing less triggers while others need more. Like Morgan here…say something against the Blackhawks…he’ll snap.”
“Caps guy here,” said Dalhousie, “sorry agent.”
“Oh yeah?” said Morgan, feigning anger. Reid and the professor had a laugh. “Just you wait for the Stanley Cup League.” The professor grinned, before leading the two agents to his office.
“Maeve Donovan,” started Dalhousie. “She was a recluse…which, I guess for someone in her profession isn’t that uncommon. We’re professors, and our work typically takes up all of our time. Our social lives are extremely limited, if we ever get time for one at all.”
“Still,” said Morgan, “she must have had someone she liked talking to. Were you guys friends?”
“Friends,” said Dalhousie. “I guess you could say I was her friend. Oftentimes we were the only left at the lab…we were both dedicated to our crafts. It wrecked our marriages…we got closer together…and then…”
“Then?” said Reid, noticing the inflection in Dalhousie’s voice.
“…and then we had a fight,” said Dalhousie, his voice consigned with resignation. “I was devastated. I thought I had found the love of my life, but Maeve didn’t think so. She said the relationship got repetitive and boring, and that it was weird working together now. I told her that many people make work relationships work…but she was dead set on ending it. There was not much I could do.”
“When did you guys break up?” asked Morgan.
“This was over two years ago,” said Dalhousie. “It made working together tough but we’re professionals…we toughed it out. We eventually repaired our friendship, so much so that when she told me about this new guy she met that I was excited for her. Then.” Dalhousie stared at the ceiling, pensively, before resuming eye contact. “All of a sudden, she left…and she wouldn’t tell me why. I thought her and her boyfriend had run away together…I guess I’m wrong.”
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out,” said Morgan. “There’s someone she trusted more than anyone else, and that person is murdered, we suspect. So if we find the person she trusts, then we can find her stalker.”
“Why look for a murder?” asked Dalhousie. “Seems like a waste of time.”
“We think her net is too wide,” said Reid. “A person in her profession has likely encountered a lot of people who could hold a grudge against her, and stalkers are known to begin their fixations for even the smallest of matters. Not only that, but we don’t know where she is…her courier, whomever they are, was likely the only person to know, so if we find out who killed her courier, we can be that much closer to finding her.”
“Well, if you’re looking at me I didn’t have anything to do with it,” said Dalhousie.
“We’re not accusing you of anything, Professor,” said Morgan, assuredly.
“I don’t know who in this place she’d trust enough to do that,” said Dalhousie, “I mean, besides myself, but she never told me where she was going…so I can’t be of much help.”
“Do you know what places she liked to visit?” asked Reid.
“She was particularly fond of Dallas,” said Dalhousie. “Whenever we visited she would always go on wistfully about it. She also has a villa near Raleigh that she loved visiting…she loved the open air…she was never one for the city. She really loved the Carolinas…we made frequent trips down there. Other than that…I can’t really be of much help I’m afraid.”
“Okay, well if you don't know who she trusts,” asked Reid, “who hates her?”
“Take a look out into the halls,” said Dalhousie, “and take your pick.”
“She was that prickly with her students?” Morgan asked, bemused.
“No,” answered Dalhousie, shaking his head with a bit of a laugh, “but in our profession, we meet so many people as your colleague noted...there's always that few that don't take a liking to you. It's inevitable.”
“Were there anyone who was exceptionally confrontational with her, or just ‘hung around too much’?” Reid asked.
“Nobody strikes me at the moment,” said Dalhousie. “There were a few from time to time but nobody really struck out as that abnormal. I'm sorry guys.”
“Can you take us to Maeve’s office?” asked Morgan. Reid looked at him with concern.
“Sure,” said Dalhousie, getting up. “It’s right this way.”
“Thanks,” replied Morgan.
“Morgan,” said Reid, as the two of them started to walk with Dalhousie. They went to reception first to get a key before going to her office. “Hotch didn’t tell us to go in there.”
“I don’t really care what he has to say,” answered Morgan. “I got a good feeling about this, and she’s missing…we don’t need clearance to look at her stuff.”
Eve Donovan’s House, Rockville, Maryland
“I didn’t know she was missing,” said Eve, Maeve’s sister and her only surviving immediate family member. She was flailing about in her living room, prancing nervously.
“You didn’t know?” asked Hawkes, intrigued at the statement. “I find that kind of strange.”
“You guys live together,” said Prentiss, sharing the same sense of incredulousness. “Or at least you did.”
“Do you know how many times she just ‘ran away’ on some ‘mission’?” answered Eve, curtly. “Without even ever telling me what she was doing?”
“I understand that you’re upset and perhaps you’re trying to distance yourself from what happened,” said Hawkes, softly, “but if we work together we can find your sister.”
“Just so you guys can turn around and accuse me of kidnapping her, right?” snapped Eve.
“No,” replied Hawkes, still calm. “We’re not going to do that. It’s obvious in your voice that you care deeply about your sister.”
“What do you remember about ten months ago?” asked Prentiss, realizing Eve was calmer.
Eve took a seat on the couch in front of the agents. “She didn’t mention much,” Eve explained. “She left without much warning…Maeve was always secretive…she never trusted anyone. She did date this guy from her lab for many years, but she was always reserved about him, like she didn’t want to open up to him but felt compelled to. It was all very odd, but Maeve never did things by the book.”
“She must have trusted you,” said Prentiss. “You guys live together.”
“She only lived with me because she had to,” said Eve. “Because of all her trips she was going in and out of debt...she was unstable...she needed someone to keep her grounded, but she tested my patience a lot.”
“You said she was unstable,” noted Hawkes, “how did it not affect her job?”
“Being primarily a researcher she justified a lot of expenses,” said Eve. “However, after a certain point, the University stopped paying for them, but she had a lot of hunches in her field. I mean, it did pay off...she’s one of the leading geneticists in her field, and that had a lot to do with her research trips...but it took a lot out of her.”
“Sounds like she was really dedicated to her craft,” said Prentiss.
“ ‘Dedicated’ is an understatement,” said Eve with a bit of a warm laugh. “She loved her job...but it meant she had very few in the way of friends, and, being at the top, she was always looking over her shoulder. She hardly trusted me and I’m her sister!”
“What were some of her favourite places to visit?” asked Hawkes.
“She kept going on about the South,” said Eve. “Especially Carolina. She loved Dallas too...said life was ‘laid back’ there and made her forget how busy her life had become. I bet that if she fled somewhere...she’s there.”
“I don’t know,” said Hawkes, skeptical. “Where’s Maeve’s room?”
“It’s upstairs...I can show it to you,” said Eve, concerned. “You don’t believe me?”
“Not that I don’t believe you,” said Hawkes, “but I think if she were to flee from a stalker, she’d go in the last place that anyone would think that she is. Meaning...she’d go somewhere where not even you would know where she was going. She didn’t trust anyone, it seems, so she wouldn’t want to be easy to find...I know, it doesn’t narrow it down much, but I think we can rule out the South as a possible destination.”
“If you don’t know who she trusts, who hates her?” asked Prentiss.
“Shouldn’t that have been where you started?” asked Eve, with a hint of incredulousness.
“We were afraid that a woman in her position would have a net too wide,” said Prentiss assuredly. “So we figured finding the person she would trust doing her deliveries would be easier.”
“Nobody acting strange that I know of,” said Eve.
“I think,” said Hawkes, “more importantly, I want to know where she hated visiting. That’s where we’ll find her.”
“Well...you could pick any place in the Arctic,” snickered Eve.
“No,” said Prentiss. “Somewhere close...if she ran off without warning she couldn’t go very far, especially since she didn’t miss a day of work and thus would have wanted to get comfortable to resume her work quickly.”
“She hated Baltimore,” said Eve, confidently.
“Baltimore?” said Hawkes, intrigued. “Why Baltimore?”
“She said it is too run down,” said Eve. “Always felt depressed going there.”
“Too run down,” noted Prentiss, starting to think. “Meaning...lots of abandoned warehouses she could hide in.”
Maeve Donovan’s Office, Mendel University
“Okay, thanks,” said Reid, getting off the phone.
“Who was that?” asked Morgan, digging through her bookcase.
“That was Hawkes. She believes she’s in Baltimore.”
“Baltimore? Why Baltimore?”
“She said that Baltimore made her feel depressed and that she hated going there...so it’d be the last place anyone would think to look for her.”
“Makes sense...would throw off a potential stalker.”
“She also said she went on a lot of trips for research purposes.”
“This could be another one of her trips. Now all we have to do is figure out what she could be researching.”
Reid took a glance at her computer and made another call to Garcia.
“How can I help Pinky and the Brain today?” beamed Garcia.
Reid laughed. “I sure hope you’re not calling me ‘Pinky’,” he replied.
“Hey!” said Morgan, mocking anger. “Who are you calling Pinky?”
Garcia smiled through the phone. “Make sure you tell my boy toy that I think he’s smarter than that mouse,” she said.
“Actually,” said Reid, “if I recall those cartoons correctly, I think it’s Pinky that’s always smarter than Brain...anyway...we’re getting off track. I need you to hack into Maeve Donovan’s computer, can you do that for me?”
“Right away, Boy Wonder,” said Garcia, who then hung up the phone.
“Hopefully this will tell us what she was working on,” said Reid, waiting for Donovan’s computer to come to life. In a few minutes, the screen turned on, but it was blank.
“It’s got nothing on it,” said Morgan, who found the sight curious.
“The System Restore Points are cleared too,” said Reid, looking through the system. Morgan placed a call to Garcia.
“Babygirl,” he started. “Maeve seems to have cleared her entire computer...now I know you restored Lila Archer’s servers just a while back, so I need you to restore Maeve’s computer.”
“That’s a bit trickier,” said Garcia. “Internet servers are required to have backups in case things go wrong...a personal computer can be wiped clean without needing a backup...however, there’s a chance I can restore it because it’s on a school network and those usually require backups...but, it’ll take some doing.”
“Do what you can,” said Morgan, hanging up the phone. He then looked around the office before spotting something.
“Reid,” said Morgan. “Catch.” He then tossed a journal at Reid. It was edited by Gideon. “It’s dated two weeks before her disappearance.”
“This hasn’t been published yet,” said Reid, “it’s just a manuscript that she’s contributing to. It’s revolutionary stuff...I can see why Gideon would want her involvement.”
“Genetics and gang warfare,” said Morgan. “I’ve always wondered if violent personalities have a predisposition to being drawn together.”
“It would certainly make sense...perhaps the gangs got her.”
“Or she went to Baltimore to study them. Baltimore has been known for its gangs.”
“Why would she put herself in danger? If I was running from a stalker I’d want to go somewhere safe.”
“Danger, Reid? The gangs are protecting her.”
“Or at least they did.”
The two agents left the office and walked back into Dalhousie’s office, with the journal in hand.
“Do you know anything about this, Philip?” asked Morgan, firmly.
“Not at all,” said Dalhousie, intrigued at the find. “I didn’t even know she was studying this...she didn’t tell anyone.”
“Really?” Morgan didn’t seem to believe him.
“I’m saying it as honestly as I can...really.”
Reid tapped Morgan on his shoulder to get him to exit. “I think he’s telling the truth,” said Reid, reading Dalhousie’s body language. Morgan nodded his head for “yes” and departed, the journal in hand.
BAU War Room, FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Baltimore, Baltimore, Baltimore...” said Rossi, combing through the files of possible murders, having received tips from the investigating agents.
“We have to look in areas where gang activity is the highest,” said Hotchner.
“Downtown, where the Ravens play...that’s our best bet,” said Gideon. “Downtown Baltimore has had its issues with crime, especially after football games.”
“It’s right by the docks too,” said Rossi, digging through the files.
“Jason,” said Hotchner, turning his attention to Gideon, “you know Maeve the best...do you think she’d go to Baltimore?”
“I think it’s plausible,” said Gideon. “She was studying the genetics of gang violence...now I remember, she asked to contribute to a journal on gang violence I was editing…I had forgotten about it since I didn’t think it would ever get off the ground…it’s been so long, a lot of things have gotten lost in the details. We didn’t get to talk about places she liked visiting...she was secretive about that...I never understood why…that was one of my first clues that she had a stalker, if she didn’t want to reveal that kind of stuff to me.”
“So it wouldn’t have mattered if we had asked that in here earlier,” said Hotchner.
“Nope,” said Gideon, “wouldn’t have helped.”
“Why do you think she was secretive with you?” asked Rossi. “She must have trusted you.”
“She was paranoid…always afraid someone was listening,” said Gideon. “I recall that most often in our conversations…as much as I reassured her that no one was there she never felt she could truly open up. I do believe, deep down inside, she was trying to ultimately protect me- I got that feeling from her conversations. Even though she never said that she loved me, I felt it.” Gideon smiled, getting wispy about his new love, before Hotchner’s voice made him snap out of it.
“Okay, Jason,” said Hotchner, “I have here a Marcus DeRullo…aged 28…shot dead just outside of Raven Stadium…he was a ‘straight A’ student at the top of Maeve’s class three years ago.”
Gideon put on his reading glasses and examined the file before shaking his head.
“What about this one?” asked Rossi, handing Gideon a file. “Maria Marquette, 52, worked at Garber Pharmaceutical Research…also found dead last week right by the Baltimore Docks.” Gideon again shook his head.
“Julia Masters,” said Hotchner. “46, straight ‘A’…” Hotchner’s voice was cut off by Gideon again shaking his head.
“Frederick Marsden...this one is miss-” started Rossi before being cut off again by Gideon shaking his head. Rossi and Hotchner then just kept feeding him files.
Gideon was steadfast, continuing to shake his head upon just glancing at every file.
“Okay, well, it’s got to be this one,” said Rossi, handing Gideon another file before Gideon again shook his head. Rossi got up and shook his arms violently in frustration.
“We’ve just given you nine files!” stammered Rossi, continuing to flail away with his arms and hands. “How can none of these guys provide any hits for you?”
“Maeve Donovan was very selective about who she trusted,” said Gideon, curtly. “Those people are too distant from her to qualify as anyone she trusts…really, only her closest friends and family would do, and sometimes not even they did. We may need to investigate those murders too at some point- nine in a week?”
“Baltimore P.D. will worry about that one,” said Hotchner. “Right now, we need to figure out who the dead courier is.”
“What if the courier is the stalker?” asked Rossi. “It’d be the perfect cover, and could explain why the stalker waited so long to strike at Maeve.”
“It’s possible,” said Hotchner. “It brings us back to Square One but…at this stage, I don’t think we’ve gotten anywhere anyway.”
“I had a feeling that maybe we didn’t have a dead courier,” said Gideon, letting out a heavy sigh. He stepped outside of the office to grab some air. That’s when his cell phone rang.
“Hello Jason,” said the same robotic voice that answered him at the park.
“How’d you find my number?” asked Gideon, distraught.
The voice mocked him in its reply. “From Maeve, dummy.”
“Maeve wouldn’t betray me.” Gideon breathed heavily and started to fumble around in his speech.
“I think you’ll find that when your life is on the line, you’ll do just about anything.”
“Let me talk to her...LET ME TALK TO HER!”
“Okay...okay...you don’t need to yell.”
“Hello?” said Donovan, sounding drugged.
“Maeve,” said Gideon softly, hope tingling through his despair.
“Please, Jason...you gotta help me...save me from her.”
“I’m doing everything I can. You’re okay right?”
The call disconnected before Donovan could reply.
An hour later, the team was back in the War Room to analyze what they’ve found. It was now evening.
“Okay,” said Hotchner, trying to put everything together. “We know she’s in Baltimore. She picked it because it was close to where she worked but also a place she hated, meaning potential stalkers would be thrown off for a while. We also know she’s working on gang violence research and Baltimore would be the perfect city for that, with the gangs perhaps protecting her against her stalker. We’ve narrowed it down to the downtown area by the docks around Raven Stadium, which has plenty of abandoned warehouses for her to hide in. We still don’t know who her courier is and reason the stalker may be the courier turning the tables on Maeve, because there are no murders that fit the profile. That’s about it.”
“Hotch,” said Gideon, “I’ve got something to add…the stalker…she called me an hour ago…I spoke with Maeve briefly.”
“ ‘She’?” said Morgan, intrigued. “How do you know for sure?”
“It was excited utterance,” said Gideon, “Maeve pleaded with me ‘you gotta help me…save me from her’…she sounded like she was in actual danger so she wouldn’t make that statement up.”
“So if her stalker is the person she trusted,” thought Hawkes, “I think Prentiss and I have already met her.”
“I’m going to leave you guys to that,” said Hotchner. “Morgan, I’m going to co-ordinate with Baltimore P.D. so they can lead you to the Docks with an officer so you can talk with the gang members there and see if they’ve met Maeve. Rossi and I will go to the police headquarters and speak with the Sheriff and see if there’s any connection between the murders and Maeve- I know, Jason, you dismissed them but we still need to investigate any link. Reid, I want you to work on a geographic profile here with Jason. Let’s get to work.”
“Hotch,” said Gideon. “Please let me come with you to Baltimore...I want to see her.”
“Okay,” said Hotchner. “You and Reid can join us in Baltimore then.”
BAU Interrogation Room
“I told you guys at my home- I don’t know where she is,” said Eve Donovan, exasperated. “Why the heck don’t you believe me?”
“You were pretty evasive when we did talk to you,” said Prentiss, “and you would be the one person she would trust the most…so that tells me you know more than you’re letting on.”
“We aren’t here to bury you,” said Hawkes, softly. “We care about your sister as much as you do. All we want is your help.”
“You expect me to believe that claptrap?” scoffed Eve. “You guys arrest me and bring me in here not because you want to help me, but because you want to bury me. That’s the point of these interrogations, right?”
“We’re not calling this an interrogation, Eve,” continued Hawkes calmly. “This is just an interview.”
“It’s a continental offence, Eve, to withhold or destroy evidence,” said Prentiss firmly. “So unless you want a nice obstruction of justice charge, Eve, why don’t you just tell us where Maeve is so we can end this charade?”
“For the last time,” said Eve, visibly agitated, “I don’t know!”
“Listen Eve,” said Prentiss, looking at her watch, “if you help us out, then maybe there’s a chance you can get out in time to enjoy the night…it’s still pretty early and many of the bars here in Quantico have drink specials.”
“You’re not going to let me out,” snapped Eve. “You’re just going to get your confession and drag me to prison.”
“Okay,” said Prentiss, smugly. “The choice was yours. Zoe, what do you think about that place down the street?”
“I’ve been meaning to go there for so long,” said Hawkes, feigning excitement.
“What place down the street?” inquired Eve. The two agents simply ignored her, except for Prentiss giving her an innocent wave before she closed the door.
“Do you think we’ve got the right person?” asked Hawkes. “I believed her the first time we talked to her…just that…knowing what we know now.”
“I agree,” said Prentiss. “Something felt funny in that house…now we’re going to figure out what.”
“So when do we come back?” asked Hawkes.
“Give it another hour or two,” said Prentiss. “Let her stew. She’ll remember something when we come back.”
“You don’t actually want to go to the bar, do you?” asked Hawkes.
“If Hotch hears we were drinking while on duty, I think he’d have a field day,” said Prentiss, “but at least we can pretend.”
Baltimore Docks, Baltimore, Maryland
“All right,” said Morgan, coming up to a group of teenaged boys part of a gang called The Dockers. “My name is Derek Morgan. I’m with the FBI. I’m not here to cause trouble or bring any of you in…I just want to ask you guys a few questions.” Morgan held up a picture of Donovan. “Do any of you know this lady?”
“No,” said one of the gang members. “She’s pretty though.”
“Okay, so nobody came with a cotton swab or a syringe to draw blood?” asked Morgan, surprised. “She’s studying genetics in gangs.”
“Why would she need to come ask us?” said another gang member. “We’re already in the system…if she’s a professor or something, I’m sure she can get past all the rules and stuff.”
“What about the nine murders that happened here in the Docks last week?” asked Morgan, sternly. “You guys must know something about that.”
“If any of us killed anybody, do you think we’re going to tell you?” asked another gang member, incredulously. He then turned fierce. “Listen, Mr. FBI Agent, I suggest you take a walk, or we’ll make you take a walk. You’re not welcome here.”
Morgan walked up to the gang member’s face. “Do you think I’m playing around?” said Morgan, fiercely. “Do not test me.”
The gang member responded by attempting to punch Morgan, an attempt which the agent caught. Morgan then deftly punched him in the stomach, levelling him. The rest of the gang responded by trying to swarm him, but Morgan was up to the task. A few were tougher fights than others were, but none proved to be any kind of challenge for the battle-hardened Morgan, who escaped the fight with nothing but a few bruises while the gang was left defeated to catch their collective breath.
“I told you,” said Morgan, glaring at the gang. “Don’t play with me.”
“Okay, okay,” said another gang member, still catching his breath. “The gang wars…they’re starting up again…last week, our gang came under attack so some people got shot dead or got caught in the crossfire.”
“Including Marcus DeRullo?” snarled Morgan.
“Marcus,” started another gang member, “we had him killed...he killed one of our own, Peter.”
“Peter DeYote?” said Morgan.
“Yeah,” replied the gang member. “In fact, some chick did the job on Marcus.”
“Some chick?” said Morgan, visibly angry with the member’s choice of words.
“Okay, some girl,” he stammered, “I didn’t know her well…I just knew she was friends with Peter…she was young but older than him though.”
“Do you have a name?” asked Morgan sternly.
“No I don’t,” said the gang member. “None of us knew her that well.”
“What about the warehouses?” asked Morgan. “We believe the lady we’re looking for is hiding in one of these warehouses, and that you guys are helping protect her.”
“Peter had a whole block to himself,” said another gang member.
“Which ones did he have?” asked Morgan.
“Between 6th and 7th Streets, north of 2nd.” said another gang member. “It was a long block...since they were his we didn’t go inside them...we just left them to him and since his death was so recent we haven’t had a chance to check them out ourselves. If your lady is inside one of these docks, then only Peter would know which one she’s in...his girl, she was hardly ever around here.”
“Well, if you remember anything else,” said Morgan, handing the gang member his card, “don’t be afraid to call.”
Morgan then turned his attention to the police officer assigned to him. “Thanks for your help,” he said, sarcastically.
“I thought you had a handle on it,” said the officer. Morgan could only shake his head.
Baltimore Sheriff’s Office Break Room
Before starting the geographic profile, Gideon and Reid thought they would play their favourite game- chess. Reid figured it might relax Gideon, who was visibly stressed by the ordeal.
“One of these days, I’m going to beat you,” said Reid, contemplating his next move, which Gideon easily countered.
“I think you’re getting there,” said Gideon, with a soft smile. “It’s only a matter of time Spencer. You’re a smart man.”
“So Maeve had very few people she actually trusted.” Reid made another move that Gideon again countered.
“She was very paranoid. Very subconscious about herself and her work. I knew we'd have a hard time trying to find her courier.”
“Maybe we need to think outside the box on the person she trusts.”
“We've already thought outside the box on location, so that makes sense.”
“She was unstable, so maybe she wouldn't trust the people closest to her...the whole 'keep your enemies closer' thing.”
“Okay...but that means we'd have to look at her extended network...that will take days.”
Reid scrunched his mouth, as he realized he now frustrated himself.
Gideon made a move. “Checkmate, Spencer.” He didn't gloat though, because he beat Reid too many times.
Reid contemplated the board. All looked lost, but then he saw something. “Nope. Checkmate to you, Jason.”
Gideon, surprised, looked at the board before realizing that he had, in fact lost. He smiled for Reid. “Good work, Spencer. I'm proud of you.”
Reid then had another thought. “The receptionsit at Mendel...what's her name?”
“Donna Winters, why?”
“That's the courier...that's the one.”
“What makes you so sure?”
“She had a way of drawing people in...you looked at her and believed you could trust her. I saw it for myself, and Donna would be the only one who would have access to her E-Mails and work files...nobody else would.”
“So she’s with Donna,” said Gideon.
“Yeah,” answered Reid. “Let me call Hotch.”
“Hotch,” said Reid, calling Hotchner. “I know who her courier is.”
“Who is it?” asked Hotchner, with interest.
“Donna Winters, the receptionist at Mendel University,” said Reid. “She’s the last person anyone would think Maeve would trust, and Donna is extremely trustworthy. She’s also the only one who has access to her work files and E-Mail.”
“Get Garcia to run a background check on her. Meanwhile, Morgan says that she was in a warehouse located between 6th and 7th Streets, north of 2nd Avenue. It’s a long block…do you have a geographic profile ready?”
“We don’t have a geographic-”
Gideon grabbed the phone from Reid. Meanwhile, Reid used the break room phone to call Garcia.
“We won’t need to do a geographic profile, Hotch,” said Gideon. “Just get me a picture of the block…I know which one she’ll be in.”
“How will you know now when you didn’t before?” asked Hotchner.
“All this ‘thinking outside of the box’ and all the clues we have now.”
“What have you found on the gang murders?”
“Police are wondering about Peter DeYote’s murder. It looks like it was staged.”
“Yes. They’re thinking it was done to frame Marcus- his watch was at the scene.”
“Once Mr. Prickly gets off your phone,” said Garcia, “you can see the map of the area I sent to it. I’ve also sent you Donna Winters’ background, as per the Grandmaster’s wishes.”
“Thanks Garcia,” said Reid, who took another call from Hawkes.
“Thanks Garcia,” said Reid, who took another call from Hawkes.
Gideon got off the phone. Reid talked to Hawkes for a bit before concluding that call.
“Peter DeYote,” said Reid, “that was Donna’s boyfriend...Zoe said her and Prentiss got it out of Eve in interrogation...Eve said she didn’t think much of Donna because she only met her once but realized, thinking back, what everything meant now.”
“Peter’s murder was made to frame Marcus,” said Gideon, “so Donna likely used the gang wars as a cover for an argument with her boyfriend, and shot Marcus to bolster the claim.”
“How do you know?”
“Hotch said Peter’s murder looked staged, implying that Marcus was framed. The question is, why?”
“Maybe that’s why Maeve was taken...because she was studying gangs and thus Donna believed she might be able to help her when she screwed up.”
“So she created this mess...and she’s grasping at straws.”
“We need to proceed with caution...gangs...this almost never ends well.”
Undisclosed Warehouse, Baltimore Docks, Baltimore, Maryland
“Maeve,” said Winters, entering the room with Donovan before locking it behind her. She started to pace frantically. “The feds were here...you need to help me.”
“Why?” sneered Donovan. “Why should I help you now? You made this mess- you need to clean it up.”
Winters started to stammer. “Peter...I didn’t...I didn’t mean for him to die.”
Donovan answered mockingly. “Right. It was supposed to be someone else...I get it...”
“No...no one was supposed to die...I was just supposed to take you to get Jason to come here.”
“...and now that you’ve screwed up you panicked so you rushed things and now you’re furiously trying to cover your tracks...that’s why you dragged me here.”
“I understand you’re upset.”
“Upset? I’m more than upset. You take me here against my will and expect me to be happy about that?”
“Bear with me...this is all going to work.”
Donovan could only roll her eyes. “You didn’t think the feds would figure out you screwed this up...now you’re in real trouble, Donna.”
Winters could only wipe her face, filled with stress.
The streets of the Baltimore Docks, Baltimore, Maryland
“I know one of you clowns knows where she is,” snarled Morgan, approaching the Dockers, who cowered in fear. “Where in this mother f---ing cesspool is Maeve Donovan, you nitwits?”
A gang member walked up to Morgan, holding his arms up as a gesture of non-violence. “Okay...Agent Morgan...I’m the leader...they call me ‘Shaft’,” said the gang member, who finished with bravado. “The ladies gave that one to me.”
“ ‘Shaft’, huh? You ain’t Richard Roundtree,” answered Morgan, mockingly.
“Richard who?” said Shaft, bemused.
“The original ‘Shaft’, genius,” cracked another gang member.
“Do I need to mess you guys up again?” said Morgan, angrily.
“Agent...please,” pleaded Shaft. “I don’t know why you think we know who Maeve Donovan is...we don’t know who she is...that was Peter’s duty...we got nothing to do with that.”
“Then maybe you want to tell me who framed Marcus DeRullo,” snarled Morgan, “because that was staged...you guys did that just to make sure Donna Winters kept having her ‘protection’, didn’t you?”
Shaft and the rest of the Dockers looked at each other with genuine concern. “Donna?” said Shaft, in shock. “That’s her name? No...she came to us, Agent...she was the one who told us that Peter was dead...none of us knew...said that Peter and Marcus got into some fight and that she killed Marcus to defend herself and get revenge for Peter...we didn’t see any of that...she tricked us too, Agent.”
“Shaft,” another gang member called out, “I just realized Rubber Ducky is missing.”
“Rubber Ducky?” said Morgan, bemused.
“He loved that song...you know, that song, from ‘Sesame Street’?” said Shaft. “So now do you believe us?”
“How’d that b*** get your guy so quickly?” asked Morgan, with concerned surprise.
“Rubber Ducky was always a sucker for women,” said Shaft. “He was out getting dinner when you were here before...he must have seen Donna or something and she lured him.”
“Well, do you guys want to have some fun?” said Morgan, “I’ll let you guys have some of the best toys from the FBI if you help me out.”
“She’s hit too close to home,” said Shaft. “How could we not?”
Baltimore Sheriff’s Office
“Hotch,” said Gideon, pointing to a mauve coloured warehouse in a printout from Reid’s phone. “She’s right there.”
“What makes you so sure?” asked Hotchner.
“Mauve is Maeve's favourite colour. All this time we’ve been doing things because it’d be the places we’d least expect Maeve to be in,” reasoned Gideon. “However, I think Donna would flip the scales and try to throw us off.”
“She sounds like a profiler,” said Rossi.
“That’s because she wanted to be one,” said Gideon. “I had her in a class five years ago...I didn’t realize it until Garcia gave me her background file...I had failed her, that’s why she’s a receptionist.”
“So she took Maeve to get back at you,” said Reid, “and to help out when she messed up with the gangs.”
“It’s all starting to make sense,” said Gideon. “Where’s Morgan? I want to join him.”
“He’s coming back to the station,” said Hotchner, “so are Hawkes and Prentiss. They’re coming with the SWAT team.”
“SWAT? Do we really need them?” said Gideon.
“We’re dealing with gangs, Jason,” said Rossi. “In fact, as I understand, Morgan’s enlisted The Dockers’ help, since it appears that Donna has taken one of their members.”
“Sounds like we’re going to have some fireworks,” said Reid.
Donna Winters’ Warehouse
“Donna?” said Gideon, trying to call her using Rubber Ducky’s phone.
“Well if it isn’t Jason Gideon,” snickered Winters. “The one who wouldn’t give me that stupid ‘C’ on my paper to pass your course.”
“Donna, it wasn’t worth the...” Gideon stopped himself, realizing now wasn’t the time to have that kind of fight.
Behind him, Morgan noticed a camera leading up the stairwell. He stepped out of the camera’s viewpoint and placed a call to Garcia.
“Babygirl?” he said with urgency.
“Yes Mr. Bond?” beamed Garcia.
“There’s a camera in the stairwell...I need you to hack the feed.”
“I can do better than just hack it...I’m going to hijack it and make train the camera on you guys standing there...all Donna is going to see is you guys standing there and not the actual feed.”
“You are my bread and butter girl.”
“L’amour toujours, mon Cherie.”
Morgan smiled. “Wait for my signal. When I say ‘Go’, put that into the feed.”
“Please...Donna,” pleaded Gideon. “Don’t hurt her...take me instead.”
Winters grinned, realizing Gideon was playing right into her trap because he was lost in love. “Okay,” she said. “I’ll take you...but only if you come up here, and only you. Your FBI buddies have to stay at the bottom. Got it?”
“Yes, yes, I got it.”
“Are you wearing your weapon?”
“Take off your vest.”
Gideon took off his vest and his sweater, putting the vest underneath his sweater.
“Now come up. I’m right at the top.”
Gideon walked up the stairs, purposefully. When he reached the top and entered the room, Morgan gave Garcia the signal to hijack the feed, which she did.
“Maeve,” said Gideon, overcome with emotions. “I’m so glad to finally see you. Can we at least have a few minutes?”
“I ain’t letting you two get your freaky on,” snapped Winters, brandishing a gun.
“I just want to hold her for the first time...kiss her for the first time,” said Gideon, his heart melting at finally meeting his lover.
“Please, Donna,” begged Donovan. “We’ve waited so long for this.”
“Okay fine,” fumed Winters. “Make it quick though.”
The two of them embraced before starting what was supposed to be a passionate kiss. However, Gideon felt something was amiss and backed away.
“You!” screamed Gideon. “You! YOU TRICKED ME!” Gideon was now enraged. “How could you, you little runt!”
Donovan laughed after backing away. “Donna really wanted to get back at you,” said Donovan, feigning sweetness. “So she enlisted my help. We decided it wouldn’t be that fun if we just let you come to the University...no, we had to hit you where it hurt most- your heart.”
“Why? Why? Why?!” Gideon could only gasp. He then shook his head softly before continuing. “You played me...you played me for over a year...made me believe that I had achieved the one thing I had missed the most.”
“Your happiness?” Donovan smiled as Winters laughed in the background. “I think I told you not to come in with your vest.”
“I’m not wearing my vest.”
“Take off your sweater. I see it peeking underneath it.”
Donovan pulled out a gun. “I’m not playing, Jason.”
“Then why don’t you come to me...show me what kind of a shot you really have.”
“See that bull’s eye? I shot right through it.”
Gideon saw that Donovan had, indeed, shot a bullet dead centre. He tried not to be deterred but it was hard, trying to wrestle with the emotions of the moment.
“Checkmate, Jason.” Donovan cocked her gun and pointed it at his head.
“Drop it!” hollered Morgan, appearing from behind the door. The Dockers and Hawkes appeared right behind him.
Winters got scared. “What are the Dockers doing here?” she quivered.
“Why don’t you tell us why you killed our brother?” said Shaft. “You made us believe you were in trouble when it was you that caused that trouble.”
“Maybe Donna you want to start where the web of lies ends and the truth begins,” said Hawkes, glaring at Winters. She then turned her attention to Donovan. “So that’s why you never called the police…because you knew as soon as they would look into this ‘stalker’ of yours that you just made it all up.”
“There was always something fishy about you Maeve,” said Morgan. “Always. Of course, you can pick the ending- you can drop the weapon, come peacefully and maybe my boss downstairs can talk about giving you a deal…or I’ll shoot that gun right out of your hands. Now you can think death is all about a ‘blaze of glory’ but I got ten guys right here who know it’s nothing like that.”
Winters panicked. She hurriedly opened a closet and pulled a bound and gagged Rubber Ducky and held him up against her body, putting her head right next to his.
“Ducky!” called out Shaft. He called out to Winters fiercely. “Donna! Put him down! I will not let you do this!” He then continued with a reassuring tone, without losing its intensity. “Don’t worry man, I got you.”
Winters wasn’t listening to a word Shaft said. She cocked her gun and placed it right next to her head, holding Rubber Ducky’s head right next to hers. Shaft didn’t waste any time upon seeing what Winters did, firing his gun and shooting Winters right between the eyes. Donovan responded by aiming her gun at Gideon, but she was met with a bullet from Hawkes’ gun, shot in the head once Hawkes realized what she was doing. Both Winters and Donovan died instantly. The rest of the team, upon hearing the shots, came running up, with Hotchner and Rossi tending to the gang to see how Rubber Ducky was doing.
Gideon slumped to his knees and wanted to cry, but for some reason he decided to just stare at the two dead bodies. He stared, confused, not sure if he should cry that he had just lost the woman that he had loved or be angry that the love he felt was nothing but a lie.
“I’m sorry man,” said Morgan, patting Gideon’s shoulder softly. Morgan was in as much shock as Gideon was. Hawkes, after ordering paramedics to come tend to Rubber Ducky, came to tend to Gideon. Reid took a seat right next to Gideon. Hawkes held his hands and looked into his eyes, but he continued with his thousand-yard stare.
“Agent Gideon,” started Hawkes.
“Please, you can call me Jason,” said Gideon, still distraught.
“I wish there was something I could say to you right now, make all the pain go away,” said Hawkes.
“I know she gave you something to live for,” said Morgan, “but I hope, deep down inside, you’ll find the strength to continue.”
Gideon smiled, and then placed his hand on Reid’s shoulder while continuing to hold Hawkes’ hand. “I do have something to live for,” he said, warmly. “You guys. Everyone in the BAU. Heck, every victim I’ve helped save. You guys are my family; and I thank you so very much.”
Shaft turned his attention towards Gideon and gave him a warm smile. “That was deep man,” said Shaft, noticing Gideon. “Chick just holds a gun to your head and you don’t even flinch. You got some impressive skills man.”
“You should hear the story of how he dealt with The Footpath Killer sometime,” said Reid.
“Shaft,” said Morgan, turning his attention to the gang leader, “you guys did good today. We should talk. I’ll be able to help you guys get some fun jobs in law enforcement and get yourselves out of this life.”
“I think we’d like that,” said Shaft. “These streets could use some real cops.”
Morgan smiled and was about to hand him a second card before he realized he’d already done so.
The next day, FBI Headquarters, Quantico, Virginia
“Just examined The Dockers’ file,” said Hotchner, talking to Morgan in his office. “They’ve all got assault convictions of some kind, though they’re all minor. It might take some doing before a judge, but, from the looks of it, their crimes were defensive in nature and all were in retaliation for an injustice in their community- this was a gang that beat up two rapists that operated in the Docks at various times.”
“It was obvious talking to them that they did have a sense of justice,” said Morgan. “They defended their turf because the police weren’t doing their job. I think they just never got the right break.”
“I’ll see to it that their records are cleared. Morgan, I want you to train them as a unit of Baltimore SWAT.”
“Got it. Hopefully this brings some order to a city that badly needs it.”
Jessica Davies Park, Alexandria, Virginia
“So Jason,” said Hawkes, playing a chess game with Gideon. “Do you think you’ll come back to the BAU? Or just the FBI?”
“No darling,” said Gideon, making another move. “As fun as it was to be out there on the field today, I’m too old to be out there full time…plus I enjoy writing papers and escaping to my chateau. I did tell Hotch that if you guys ever need an alternate to call me.”
Hawkes smiled. “I’m glad to see you happy again.”
“Happiness comes from within, Zoe. I learned today that I don’t need others to make me happy…I make myself happy. I also learned I had people who cared about me all along- you guys. You guys in the BAU. You guys are my family. I wished I had learned it sooner.”
“Better late that never.” Hawkes gave him a warm smile, before making another move. “You know, my mother’s single…I think you two would like each other. One of these days I’ll invite you to dinner at my place.”
“I think I’d like to wait before I give this relationship thing another go...I want it to be right, I don't want to enter into one because it will make me 'feel better', because I don't need one to feel better. However, in the interest of friendship I would be more than happy to come over one of these days.”
Reid came by with three cups of coffee.
“Sorry I took so long guys,” said Reid, frantically handing out the coffees. “How’s the game?”
“Zoe’s quite the player herself,” said Gideon. “I think you have a formidable foe.”
“I always keep Spencer on his toes,” said Hawkes, with a grin. “We challenge each other…there’s this synergy with our minds…I love it.”
“You two really are special,” said Gideon, fondly. “Your youth brings so much energy and enthusiasm…it really rubs off on everyone. Don’t ever lose that…I know this job can rob you of any hope for humanity and make you lose hope, but do everything you can to fight it, and remember it’s your job to restore the hope and happiness that these killers rob from society. Your youthful buoyancy gives people hope…don’t ever forget that.
“I learned that just the other week, Jason,” said Hawkes. “I shot and killed my tormentor, Eric Olson. I felt so bad about what I had done until his sister- whom he had kidnapped- came by and gave me a big hug. That’s why today I didn’t hesitate to do what I did at the warehouse- because seeing Lana reminds me about why I do what I do and that hope always emerges from sadness.”
Gideon smiled, happy that Hawkes has the right frame of mind. He then made another move on the chess board. “Checkmate, Zoe.”
“You bugger!” exclaimed Zoe, examining the board. “You are good!” Gideon and Reid just laughed, before taking over the chessboard for a game themselves.