Author's Note: Fifth story in the Cooperation 'Verse
Fandom: Bones/Criminal Minds/Grey’s Anatomy/Jossverse
Title: A Second Chance
Warnings: Character death, minor slash.
Disclaimer: None of these shows or their characters belong to me, Matt Nguyen, Dr. Kalimar, Henry Corbin, Mackenzie and Ben Tate are mine.
Spoilers/Timeline: Criminal Minds: Post Ashes and Dust, Pre- Legacy, Bones: Around Spaceman in a Crater, Grey’s Anatomy: Post- Some Kind of Miracle, Pre-Didn’t We Almost Have it All, Jossverse: Post-series.
Author's Note: Thanks to my beta, cflat!
Summary: The FBI comes to Seattle on the trail of a serial killer.
It hadn’t rained in a week, but the site was still muddy. Dr. Nancy Rollins watched as the undergrads slid about, trying to pound stakes into the unstable ground. The old graveyard on the edge of Discovery Bay was to be the subject of her grad student’s dissertation, and she’d been talked into holding a field school there as well by a desperate department chair. Both the university’s field schools had fallen through and she’d been properly convinced, so now two sets of undergrads were wandering about the site.
“Enjoying the show, Doc?” asked her grad student, Carter, who was carrying an armful of shovels.
“I’d enjoy seeing you do some work,” she said with a smile. “I’m expecting another chapter on Monday, no matter how much of a muddy mess this turns out to be.”
Carter trotted off to help set the squares, with a, “Yeah, yeah, doc!” thrown over her shoulder as she went to supervise the more experienced students.
Doctor Rollins headed over to her small group of first years. They were huddled next to the van, dressed in still spotless cargo pants and t-shirts. “Okay, we’re going to start you guys out on shovel tests,” said Rollins. They had gone over the procedure in class, so she handed each pair a shovel and walked them over to the far edge of the site. Last week’s remote sensing survey had shown nothing of immediate interest in the area, so it was a good place for the kids to practice.
“Okay, Casey, you and Chris have the first square, everyone walk off five feet.” Once everyone was situated, she let the students begin.
“Josh! Why are we doing shovel tests?” she called to one of the students working dirt through a mesh screen, expecting to get the textbook repeated back at her. The only answer was a scream.
It had been a quiet week at the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. Penelope Garcia and J.J. Jareau had gathered around Reid’s desk.
“I figured it out,” said Garcia, resident techie, and computer goddess.
“Figured what out?” asked Reid, trying not to smile.
“How you make the rockets. Did you think my google-fu would fail me?” asked Garcia.
“Of course not,” replied Reid, a smile breaking out. “Now prove it.”
“Okay!” said Garcia enthusiastically as she set up the film canister. Before she could finish, Hotch interrupted.
“I know it’s been a quiet week, but we actually have a case. Gideon would like all of you in the conference room,” he said, before leaving to find Morgan and Prentiss.
“Ah, sorry Garcia, you’ll have to wait to prove your google skills,” said Reid as they cleaned up the experiment and then headed to the conference room.
When everyone was seated, Jason Gideon launched into the details. “Archaeologists near of Discovery Bay, Washington, were excavating a 19th century graveyard when they came across a recently deposited body. They brought in local police, who contacted us when they realized they might have multiple modern victims,” said Gideon. A picture flashed up onto the screen, a field of bodies each lying in a grave. “As of this morning, they’ve located what looks like sixty-two bodies, they’re still working on it. At this point, it is hard to tell which bodies are victims and which were originally buried there, so we’re taking a forensic team with us.” The next photo flipped onto the screen, a young woman still lying in the hole in which she had been buried. “The most recent victim is Tiffany Davenport, age 26. She was a graduate student at Seattle University, and lived in Seattle. She disappeared four weeks ago after being released from Seattle Grace Hospital after being checked out for vertigo.” Another click, another photo. “The body seems to have been buried in a cloth bag. However, both the bag and the body were disturbed during their exposure. Two undergrads from the University of Washington-Seattle, cut through the victim’s arm while digging a test pit.” Gideon silenced the projector, “Wheels up in forty minutes.”
The team scattered off to find what they needed before the plane took off. “Hotch,” said Gideon, grabbing Aaron Hotchner’s elbow, “we’re taking Dr. Brennan and her team with us, for the forensics. Thought I’d give you a heads up.” Hotch nodded and then headed out to get ready.
Zack Addy hadn’t seen Spencer Reid in almost a month. There was always an excuse: tough case, long case, to much paperwork. It wasn’t like he didn’t know how it went. There was always a case; there was always someone who needed their help. And sometimes the good guys paid when the tried to help. Zach had been blown up once. Spencer had freaked out.
Zach had been sitting there in the lab, watching the news report his untimely death when Seeley Booth’s cell rang. He could only hear one side of the conversation, but even he could tell it was Hotch calling because Spencer could not, or because Gideon was restraining him from grabbing the phone out of Hotch’s hands, Zack wasn’t sure. He sat, dazed, as Booth promised he was fine, a few scrapes and bruises and informed Hotch that the BAU in the guise of an irate Spencer Reid could not make an appearance at the Jeffersonian. There was still someone out there coming after them and no matter how upset Reid was they had to keep Zack’s cover. It took Zack almost a week to figure out the magnitude of the favor Booth had just done him.
As soon as Spencer had been allowed to, he’d come by the Jeffersonian to pick Zack up and take him home. There was junk food, Spencer adored junk food, and a Battlestar Galatica marathon, and their first kiss.
Now that it had been Spencer in danger, Spencer in the hands of a mad man, Spencer almost dead on the news and Hotch calling Booth to pass long information to Zack, it was different. He didn’t want to talk about it, he didn’t want to talk, or even let Zack sit next to him and watch Stargate reruns, and he didn’t want the Jeffersonian helping out on BAU cases.
Oh, they’d seen one another around, it was impossible not to, though Zack thought Gideon might’ve had something to do with the frequency. There’d been nothing but shoptalk: dead bodies and serial killers.
Zack sighed, at least they’d made it on the plane before the BAU team arrived. He’d taken a seat in the back, so that Spencer could avoid him if he wanted to. He hoped not.
In the row in front of him Angela and Hodgins flirted and Dr. Brennan ignored them, instead flipping through the case notes. The last of the maintenance crew departed, colliding with the BAU team, sans Agent Hotchner, as they made their way on to the plane. Zack wanted to hold his breath, but he told himself that was childish. Spencer would notice him whether he breathed or not. Gideon and Morgan took seat across from Dr. Brennan; Agent Prentiss slipped behind them, and then there was Spencer. He hesitated, looking at Zack, then at Gideon, and then back at Zack, before folding himself into the chair next to Zack.
“Hi,” he said, as if nothing had happened.
Hotch made it to the plane with only a few minutes to spare. Haley, his wife, never liked it when he went back to Seattle, and they had argued about it while he was packing. Their marriage had been even more strained while Hotch was stationed in Seattle and his going back there always put Haley on edge. Which put him on edge. Which wasn’t any good, especially when he was about to spend six hours on a plane with Seeley Booth.
“Hotchner!” called Booth even before Hotch had gotten all the way inside the plane.
Hotch suppressed a groan, that man was too cheerful for this hour of night, “Booth, good to see you again.” Booth hadn’t changed at all since the last time the two of them had worked a case together, a serial killer with a taste for burning his victims on Easter morning. Hotch and Booth had managed to get along for the first twenty minutes of the case, before Booth had abandoned all protocol and Hotch had gotten hoodwinked by Booth’s partner, Dr. Temperance Brennan. They solved the case, they’d even both been right, which helped repair the relationship, but every time they worked together, something went spectacularly wrong. Still Hotch liked the man, even though he and his partner were trouble.
Hotch made his way to the passenger compartment and took a seat in the front row. Booth sat down opposite of him.
“So, Hotchner, how’s it going?” asked Booth.
“Good,” replied Hotch. The plane rumbled and then started down the runway, and once they were in the air and had leveled off, Gideon started a discussion of the case. Crime scene photos were passed around the cabin, and the details of the crimes were discussed. Soon Booth moved to sit next to Dr. Brennan, leaving Hotch to rest his head against the side of plane and try to sleep. Within twenty minutes, Hotch and Gideon were the only people left awake on the plane. Reid had curled up against Dr. Addy, and both were oblivious to the world around them. Dr. Brennan was resting her head on Booth’s shoulder and he in turn was leaning against the bulkhead. In the next row, Angela and Hodgins were mimicking them.